VISTA, Calif. (KGTV/CNS) - Testimony continued Tuesday in a preliminary hearing for a San Diego County sheriff's deputy charged with groping and sexually assaulting 16 women while on patrol.
Richard Timothy Fischer, 32, first surrendered to authorities in February after allegations surfaced months earlier that he had allegedly groped or fondled 13 women. He was charged with sexual battery, assault and battery by an officer, and false imprisonment.
In August, prosecutors added five new charges against the defendant, including forcible oral copulation, involving three more women.
On Tuesday morning, a 25-year-old woman testified that Fischer inappropriately touched her in September 2017 after she drove drunk and crashed into parked cars in Escondido.
The woman said she was transported from an Escondido police unit into Fischer’s car, and that’s where she claims the alleged violation took place.
“He goes to the back to take off my seatbelt and he starts rubbing my legs and telling me I have really soft legs,” the woman said. “I step out of the car, and when he’s taking off my handcuffs, he grabs my butt and grabs in between my legs and my vagina.”
The woman was extensively cross-examined by Fischer's attorney during the morning portion of the hearing.
A 51-year-old businesswoman testified Monday that Fischer first responded to a 911 call at an independent living facility in Vista she ran for people with mental health and drug issues about 6 p.m. on Dec. 31, 2016.
Deputy District Attorney Annette Irving told Judge Daniel Goldstein at the end of a five-day preliminary hearing on the original charges earlier this year that Fischer "preyed" upon the alleged victims while on duty and in full uniform, mostly late at night.
Fischer faces more than 25 years behind bars if convicted of all charges.
At the end of the current preliminary hearing, Goldstein will determine if a trial is warranted over the five new charges against Fischer.