Woman in Police Sex Scandal Drops Another Lawsuit

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) — The young woman at the heart of the police sex abuse scandal that rocked the Bay Area two years ago has dropped her lawsuit against a second police agency she accused of sexually exploiting her.

Jasmine Abuslin dismissed her federal lawsuit against Richmond police with prejudice on Wednesday. She dropped a virtually identical lawsuit against Contra Costa County and its sheriff in October last year.

The City of Oakland agreed to pay her a $989,000 settlement in June last year.

Richmond’s attorney Blake Loebs said in an email Wednesday: “We never believed that Ms. Abuslin’s lawsuit had any merit.”

He continued: “After meeting and conferring about the merits of plaintiff’s complaint, plaintiff’s counsel agreed to dismiss this entire action for a waiver of costs. None of the defendants agreed to pay any amount to settle this action. Had this case not been voluntarily dismissed, we believe we would have been able to obtain a dismissal from the court.”

Abuslin, aka Celeste Guap, sued Richmond, its current and former police chiefs and six officers in August 2017, accusing them of sexually trafficking her in exchange for police protection and information.

She claimed it was an open secret in the Richmond Police Department that she was available to officers “for sexual favors and pleasure in exchange for paid monies, protection, or other forms of consideration.” Abuslin, who worked as a child prostitute, described her role there as an “exclusively department retained sex worker.”

One officer promised to help Abuslin escape prostitution after meeting her on 23rd Street in Richmond, a sex trafficking hub, Abuslin said. Instead, he began having sex with her in exchange for immunity from arrest and confidential police information.

Richmond Police Chief Allwyn Brown and former Police Chief Chris Magnus knew what was happening but refused to investigate or discipline their officers, she claimed.

They investigated only after allegations became public in May 2016 that a slew of officers from police departments around the Bay Area had had sex with her, some while she was underage, after an Oakland officer killed himself and left a suicide note implicating several other officers, Abuslin said.

The allegations toppled three Oakland police chiefs in less than two weeks, as Mayor Libby Schaaf struggled to stabilize the department in the face of intense public outcry.

In October last year, Alameda County prosecutors dropped criminal charges against an Oakland police officer after a state judge threw out similar charges against two other officers for insufficient evidence.

Prosecutors said at the time they stood by the charges and planned to seek an “appellate remedy” to a “conflict in the law interpreting the criminal statutes that govern the crimes charged.”

The officers had faced felony charges of unlawful sex with a minor, oral copulation with a minor and obstruction of justice, and misdemeanor counts of engaging in prostitution and engaging in lewd conduct.

Loebs is with Meyers, Nave, Riback, Silver & Wilson in Oakland.

John Burris represented Abuslin. He did not return a call for comment Wednesday.

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