VENTURA (CBSLA.com) — A tort claim filed this week in the city of Ventura alleges a now-deceased police officer sexually assaulted an underage girl.
Attorneys Ron Bamieh and Laura Cota served the city with a claim on Feb. 5 seeking damages on behalf of a “Jane Doe”, alleging she was “repeatedly” assaulted by Officer Ricky Payne.
Details about the claim were released on Wednesday after the city complied with a public records request by the Ventura County Star.
The $10 million claim cites “severe emotional distress” and alleges that Payne sexually assaulted Doe between June and October 2011, including assaults consisting of sexual intercourse and oral copulation.
Subsequent to learning of Officer Payne’s death, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department launched an investigation into the claims, which, according to police, included “interviews with a minor female as well as numerous [Ventura Police Department] personnel.”
The claim alleges “the city of Ventura and Ventura Police Department knew or should have known of defendant officer’s acts”, and states that the claim was not filed within six months from the date of injury due to “delayed discovery,” “mental incapacity”, “minority”, and “mistake, inadvertence, surprise, excusable neglect.”
Payne, 27, died on Oct. 16, 2011, as a result of injuries sustained from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to police. He had been an officer with the VPD since 2007.
A statement on the VPD website stated “prior to his suicide the department had learned of a possible allegation of misconduct by Officer Payne,” but declined any comment on the investigation.
Click here (PDF) to read the claim.