Woman files claim, says SDPD Officer Chris Hays sexually assaulted her

SAN DIEGO - A sexual assault claim was filed Friday with the city of San Diego's Office of Risk Management, claiming a police officer committed sexual battery and false imprisonment under color of authority.

The officer in question is Chris Hays, who has been the subject of several 10News reports after seven women reported he touched them inappropriately.

The claim, filed by attorney Brian Watkins on behalf of an unknown woman, says that in October 2013, "Police Officer Christopher Hays offered to drive the claimant home and allowed her to sit in the back seat without handcuffs. He drove her to a vacant lot near her home. As she was walking into her home, Hays told claimant that he 'forgot to frisk her.' He then proceeded to molest and sexually assault claimant."

Watkins elaborated: "His search consisted of grabbing both of her breasts with both of his hands, massaging them, grabbing her crotch, rubbing it, making comments and then also grabbing her buttocks. Then he took her wrist and her hand and put it on his crotch."

Watkins said the officer was aroused.

"She's standing there in complete shock, trying not to cry, not saying a word," Watkins said.

Watkins said his client was terrified, but did not report the incident at the time. Police investigators sought her out as they began their probe into accusations that Hays, a married father of two, was acting inappropriately with women while he was on the job.

It allegedly happened behind some businesses and near a Dumpster.

Watkins said it wasn't the woman's first encounter with the embattled officer. Three weeks earlier, Hays arrested her on a warrant for a ticket the attorney said "she hadn't taken care of."

As Hays took the woman to jail, she claims he was flirtatious.

"It was really out of bounds and unprofessional, but he did not touch her in any way," Watkins said.

The woman is "scared to death" and traumatized, according to Watkins, who said his client decided to come forward because "it would be selfish not to, because that would put other women in jeopardy."

Hays, who was honored in 2012 for rescuing a woman from a burning apartment building, has been on leave during the investigation, which is now in the hands of the San Diego County District Attorney's Office.

Hays was arrested on suspicion of committing sex crimes, but bailed out of jail the same day. He is due in court for arraignment on Feb. 18.

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