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Judge considers civil case against City of Paso Robles over former officer’s alleged misconduct

Posted at 6:28 PM, Jun 27, 2019

After issuing a tentative ruling this week to allow the case to move forward, a San Luis Obispo judge heard arguments Thursday regarding a civil claim related to a former Paso Robles police officer’s alleged sexual misconduct.

Attorneys for the City of Paso Robles did not argue the facts of the claim filed by the alleged victim but told the judge instead that the claim missed the filing deadline.

The attorney for the woman, who claims she was sexually assaulted by former officer Christopher McGuire, said this case is worthy of an exemption to the missed deadline.

“It can’t get any worse for a woman than to be sexually assaulted by a police officer who takes an oath to serve and protect,” said attorney Brian Claypool after Thursday’s hearing.

Claypool said his client was raped by Christopher McGuire, a former Paso Robles police officer, and argues that the city is responsible for the woman’s pain and suffering.

“The damages we’re going to seek in this case are to help her through the remainder of her life, work through the ongoing trauma,” Claypool said.

In a claim dated February 2019, Claypool notes his intent to seek more than $25,000 in damages from the city for McGuire’s alleged misconduct.

According to the claim, McGuire responded to the woman’s domestic violence report in December 2017 only to abuse her himself.

“She needed a police officer to come protect her and what does he do? He exploits and assaults her,” Claypool said.

The claim alleges the woman was sexually abused by McGuire on three occasions between December 2017 and April 2018.

Though the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney declined to prosecute the officer, former FBI agent and police misconduct expert Tom Parker said McGuire’s resignation raises questions.

“That resignation tends to indicate a certain likelihood of some of the facts being true,” Parker said. “Otherwise, most police officers would have stood up to protect their job and future of their career.”

At the Thursday hearing, attorneys for the city did not take issue with the facts of the claim, but the timing.

“She knew everything she needed to know to file (by the deadline),” the attorney for the city said.

The city’s attorney declined an interview.

The judge is expected to issue a ruling on whether the tentative approval of the case is sustained.