RANDY PENCH / rpench@sacbee.com

Sergio Alvarez, a former West Sacramento police officer, is led from the Yolo County courthouse after his arraignment. He is accused of kidnapping and sexually assaulting six women while on patrol duty.

W. Sacramento accused of negligence in cop sex case

Published: Wednesday, Mar. 20, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 3B
Last Modified: Wednesday, Mar. 20, 2013 - 9:52 am

A woman filed a claim against West Sacramento this month for "negligent supervision" of a former city police officer alleged to have sexually attacked her and five other women while on patrol.

In the 14-page document filed March 12, attorneys say the woman was stopped in late August by Sergio Alvarez in his police cruiser on West Capitol Avenue. Attorneys allege the woman was driven to an alleyway off Merkley Way and sexually assaulted in the back seat of the patrol car.

In an attached declaration, the woman said Alvarez later told her to "lay low," and that he would see her again.

The claim seeks unspecified damages for "negligent supervision" of Alvarez and "intentional infliction of emotional distress."

The plaintiff is the same woman whose grand jury testimony in February led to Alvarez's arrest. He remains in Yolo County custody facing 35 counts including rape, sodomy and kidnapping of six women while on duty between October 2011 and September 2012.

The woman, identified by her first name and last initial in the claim documents, said she was afraid to leave her home after the alleged attack, fearing reprisal from Alvarez or the police department.

She filed after a six-month claim window elapsed, but attorneys say that was because she feared doing so until Alvarez was arrested.

The claim makes many of the same allegations that landed the former West Sacramento officer behind bars.

Calls to West Sacramento city officials and to the Sacramento law office of Kronick Moskovitz Tiedemann & Girard, which represents the city, were not immediately returned Tuesday.

The woman's attorney, Robert Buccola, said a police force is liable when an officer under color of authority commits an unwanted sexual act.

But, in a statement, Buccola said West Sacramento and Sacramento police, which led the investigation into Alvarez, "acted swiftly … and (took) the high road every step of the way in addressing this malfeasance. … I have no doubt the entire West Sacramento police force would have raised their hand if solicited to make the arrest here of (Alvarez)."

Alvarez's arrest – and subsequent dismissal from the police force – came after a five-month investigation that culminated in a late February grand jury indictment.

He faces a trial readiness hearing Friday in Yolo Superior Court.

Call The Bee's Darrell Smith, (916) 321-1040.

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