LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A lawsuit filed in LA Superior Court accuses a group of male LA Sheriff’s Deputies of being members of a secret clique that demanded female trainees have sex with them.
Guadalupe Lopez also alleges that after she complained about inappropriate behavior by some of her male colleagues at the Sheriff’s Station in Boyle Heights, they retaliated and harassed her including once leaving a dead rat under her car outside her house.
KCAL9’s Rachel Kim said that Lopez — in the 33-page suit — was angered because she said she was expected to provide sexual favors to male training officers and their associates.
The woman’s attorney — Gregory Smith — said his client was working under less than ideal conditions in a workplace that can only be described as hostile.
“We want the public to know about this,” said Smith, “We want them to know there is a problem with this department.”
He said Lopez was subjected to retaliation and harassment, mainly because she wouldn’t submit to sexual favors from her male colleagues.
“Like all cliques,” said Smith, “like all gangs, a lot of this is steeped in secrecy.”
Smith says the LA Sheriff’s clique even had a name for itself — “The Banditos.” Smith says they even sold T-shirts to raise money for their motorcycle rides.
Female trainees who didn’t comply with the sexual demands, Lopez’s suit alleges, would be on the outs and get less than favorable treatment or assignments.
“If you don’t comply,” says Smith, “[the implication] was you’re going to have a problem because you’re on probation.”
The message of the dead rat was also abundantly clear, said Smith.
“A rat connotes — in the police department and the sheriff’s department — a snitch,” Smith said.
The lawsuit specifically stated, “she was expected to be ‘One of the Girls’ which included drinking, partying and the fulfillment of ‘sexual needs’ of her male training officers
and their associates.”
She also accuses “The Banditos” of driving her off the road and knocking her to the ground while she was carrying a loaded shotgun.
Lopez claims because she didn’t comply with the demands for sex she was later assigned to a worthless position.
Lopez went on a stress leave prior to filing the suit.
The Sheriff’s Department sent Kim a statement Friday evening saying, “Two years ago when the plaintiff made the allegations, the Sheriff’s Department conducted a comprehensive investigation resulting in appropriate administrative action for several employees. This lawsuit contains new allegations the plaintiff never reported during an exhaustive investigation. The Sheriff’s Department will reserve any formal comment of this case while we conduct a thorough investigation for the new claims alleged.”