$3M settlement reached in police sexual assault case

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LAS CRUCES (AP) – A New Mexico city has agreed to a $3 million settlement in the case of a high school police intern who was sexually assaulted by an officer during a ride-along.

Michael Garcia of the Las Cruces Police Department was sentenced in 2014 to nine years in federal prison for the sexual assault.

The victim, Diana Guerrero, sued the city last year saying the department allowed for a culture of sexism and inappropriate behavior and that Garcia was never disciplined for a history of misconduct.

Guerrero says she’s glad the lawsuit brought to light what she called “a cesspool of sexual violence and harassment” in police departments across the country.

In a yearlong investigation of sexual misconduct by U.S. law enforcement, the AP uncovered about 1,000 officers who lost their badges in a six-year period for various sex crimes.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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