How Many Laws Can a Crooked Cop Break?
LOS ANGELES (CN) - A San Luis Obispo police detective forced a woman to buy and sell drugs for him and forced her to have sex with him under threat of arrest, the woman and her boyfriend claim in court.
Kip Holland and his "Jane Roe" girlfriend sued former San Obispo police Det. Cory Pierce, and the City and County of San Luis Obispo, in Federal Court.
The tale told by the 15-page lawsuit resembles a script for a Grade B noir detective flick from the 1930s.
Roe and Holland claim that Pierce threatened to arrest them both unless they got heroin and prescription drugs for him. They claim that Pierce told them he would make them "disappear" if they did not comply with his demands.
Pierce told them which drug houses to avoid, to elude arrest, and gave them information about investigations so they would not get caught working for him, they say in the lawsuit.
Roe also claims that Pierce, who worked with narcotics task force, threatened Roe with arrest unless she had sex with him.
The couple say they first encountered Pierce in March 2011 after Grover Beach police officers arrested Holland for heroin possession.
According to the lawsuit, Pierce asked for Roe's phone number after she returned to pick up her boyfriend's wallet from the San Luis Obispo Police Department, where Holland had been booked.
Pierce later called her to ask her to get prescription painkillers for him, the couple claim. After Holland learned of the relationship, the detective asked Holland to buy him heroin too, according to the complaint.
After Holland spent 20 days in jail on the possession charge, the couple claim, Pierce picked up Holland from jail. Pierce told Holland not to report for probation, assuring him he could take care of it, the couple say in the lawsuit.
"As a result, Holland had almost no contact with his assigned probation officer and did not participate in drug testing or treatment," the complaint states.
Pierce told Roe to trade placebo oxycodone pills with drug dealers for drugs, and had her feign illness to get opiate addiction prescriptions from emergency rooms, according to the complaint.
Roe went into treatment for drug addiction and cut ties with Pierce, but claims he resumed contact after she left rehab, and she relapsed.
Roe and Holland arranged a meeting with a drug dealer at Pierce's request, and the officer pulled over the dealer and robbed him at gunpoint, according to the lawsuit.
The couple claim they believed Pierce might harm them, plant drugs on them or send them to jail if they did not do his dirty work.
In Holland's case, the couple say, Pierce had him arrested on a charge of violating his probation.
"Pierce used the threat of arresting Roe and Holland to force her to submit," the complaint states. "In particular, Pierce forced Roe into an act of oral copulation and, on another occasion, forced sexual intercourse. There was an additional incident when he pushed and rubbed his body up against her."
After Roe was arrested on charges of burglary and grand theft from a commercial building, the couple say, they went to the FBI. Holland agreed to wear a wire and recorded a conversation with Pierce, in which he asked Holland to deal drugs for him.
Pierce pleaded guilty to extortion in July 2013. He began serving his 18-month sentence in January.
Roe says she received a jail sentence in protective custody for cooperating with prosecutors.
The plaintiffs seek punitive damages for civil rights violations.
They are represented by Stephen Dunkle with Sanger Swysen & Dunkle of Santa Barbara.