VISTA, Calif. (KGTV) - A potential plea deal involving a former San Diego County sheriff’s deputy accused by multiple women of sexual misconduct could not be agreed upon Wednesday -- days before a trial is scheduled to begin.
At a hearing in Vista Wednesday morning, Richard Fischer’s defense team and the prosecution were progressing towards a possible plea agreement in which the ex-deputy would plead guilty to four felony charges -- down from more than 12 felonies -- and serve no more than five years in prison.
10News learned that Fischer would also have to register as a sex offender for life under the plea deal.
However, the deal may have fallen through because some victims could not agree on what Fischer’s sentence should be and on whether he would have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
The judge said he believed that the only way to resolve the case was via a plea agreement, and while the prosecution and defense may continue to negotiate on a possible deal, no deals can be made once a jury is involved.
Fischer is charged with multiple crimes, including sexual battery, false imprisonment, forced oral copulation, and assault by a public officer. He faces at least 25 years in prison if he was convicted of all charges at trial.
The former deputy, who no longer works for the department as of February, is currently out on probation.
If a plea deal is not reached, Fischer’s trial will begin Sept. 9.
Since accusations against Fischer first surfaced in 2017, several criminal and civil complaints were filed and accuse Fischer of sexual misconduct while he was on duty.
In early 2018, Fischer was arrested on charges stemming from accusations levied by at least 13 women.
Despite charges being filed and a looming trial, Fischer emphatically denied the allegations.
The county has settled with four of his accusers in a civil motion, awarding them nearly $1 million.
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-- Deputy accused by multiple women of sexual assault speaks publicly
-- Sheriff's deputy accused of sexual misconduct pleads not guilty