$66 million civil lawsuit filed in Oakland police sex scandal

OAKLAND (KRON) — Attorneys filed a civil lawsuit Friday against the City of Oakland in connection with the police sexual misconduct scandal.

Jasmine Abuslin, the woman at the center of the scandal, returned to the Bay Area Thursday with civil rights attorneys Pamela Price and Charles Bonner.

She is asking for $66 million, documents said.

Her attorneys say Abuslin has been a victim of sex trafficking since she was 12-years-old.

According to the documents, then Oakland police chief Sean Whent had personal knowledge that Abuslin was being sexually exploited as a minor and did nothing.


The claim said “Whent was the police chief…during the time when Oakland Police officers were raping, victimizing, exploiting, and trafficking [Abuslin]. Whent had personal knowledge that (Abuslin) was being sexually exploited as a minor and took no action to prevent the exploitation or to protect (Abuslin).”

Before Abuslin turned 18, the claim said, “In 2015, she met Oakland Police Officer Brendan O’ Brien [deceased] while she was running from a pimp. Having come into contact with a minor running from her pimp, Officer O’ Brien was obligated under California Penal Code 236.2 to make certain inquiries regarding [Abuslin’s] wellbeing.”

Instead of protecting Abuslin from sexual exploitation, O’ Brien sexually exploited her himself, the documents said.

“In addition to Officer O’ Brien, Officer G.L. and other officers and deputies also sexually exploited (Abuslin) when she was a minor, and continuing into 2016, after she turned 18, providing her protection and information about police business for sexual favors. None of them ever offered her information or help in escaping from sexual exploitation,” the documents said.

The officers named in the complaint are accused of violating Abuslin’s civil right by either sexually trafficking her between and among police officers and sheriff’s deputies throughout the Bay Area or by failing to report the abuse, according to the documents.

“After learning that (Abuslin) was a victim of sexual exploitation, the above referenced Chief, Sergeant and Officers were obligated to protect her from trafficking and exploitation. Instead, they continued to exploit her by trading money, information, and/or protection for sex,” the documents said. “Instead of helping [Abuslin] find a way out of exploitation, they furthered and deepened her spiral down into the sex trade. By providing protection and information to [Abuslin] in exchange for sex, respondents, each of them, ensured that [Abuslin] would stay on the streets and be available for their sexual exploitation.”

They want to bring just justice to her case by holding officers accountable for sex trafficking, according to Price.

“We intend to hold everyone accountable,” Price said. “She is a victim of child sexual trafficking in the Bay Area.”

Price is seeking compensation from each jurisdiction involved in the Scandal. She also wants to restore Abuslin’s privacy.

The Alameda County District Attorney is charging seven officers from different law enforcement agencies in Alameda County in the sexual misconduct scandal. The charges include oral copulation with a minor, engaging in a lewd act, engaging in prostitution and obstruction of justice.

Abuslin is a key witness in the criminal case and since she has returned, the Alameda County District Attorney can move forward with filing charges.

The Richmond Police Department recently announced that they found no criminal violations after an investigation into 11 current and former officers who were allegedly involved with Abuslin.

Bonner and Price believe there are several officers who should also be charged, including officers from Richmond and San Francisco.

Abuslin was sent to Florida to enter rehab. While she was there, she was arrested for an alleged battery against a rehab guard. Her attorneys met her in Florida where she was able to accept a plea deal and return home.

The attorneys are criticizing Richmond police for sending Abuslin to rehab just before she would be a witness in a criminal prosecution. They also say she was sent there under false pretenses. Richmond police have since said it was her choice to go and that they only assisted in getting her funds from the state’s Victim Compensation Program.

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