By CCN STAFF
A federal lawsuit filed against the Paso Robles Police Department claims an officer raped a victim and then threatened to have social services take her children if she told anyone. A motion to dismiss was denied, and a trial date set.
The plaintiff, who CCN is referring to as Jenna to protect her privacy, is seeking unspecified general, special and punitive damages for sexual battery, stalking and civil rights violations related to events that began in late 2017.
On Dec. 19, 2017, Jenna called 911 to report her boyfriend had assaulted her. Sean Christopher McGuire was one of the officers routed to Jenna’s home to give assistance. While the other officers left following the arrest of the boyfriend, McGuire stayed behind for approximately four hours.
According to the suit, McGuire then ordered the woman to hug him.
“McGuire then grabbed plaintiff’s hand and placed it on his gun, which he was wearing in a holster on his hip,” according to the lawsuit. “He then grabbed her left hand and placed it on his erect penis. McGuire then asked plaintiff what gun she preferred.”
Even though Jenna said she preferred his firearm, McGuire then insisted Jenna tell him what she would do with his “big cock,” the suit says.
A few days later, McGuire stopped by the victim’s house wearing civilian clothes. He said he was on his way to work and was conducting a welfare check, according to the lawsuit.
McGuire then asked Jenna to go to her garage so they could talk privately, as her children were home. Inside the garage, McGuire tried to force her to perform oral sex. After she refused, McGuire allegedly bent her over a platform, pulled her pants down and raped her.
Following the rape, McGuire allegedly stalked, harassed and threatened to harm Jenna if she told anyone about the sexual assault.
“McGuire threatened me more than once not to tell anyone what happened,” Jenna says in her declaration. “McGuire threatened to physically harm me if I told anyone, or that he would make up allegations against me and call Children and Family Services to have my children taken away.”
In approximately April of 2018, McGuire asked the woman if she had told others what had happened, and then unsuccessfully attempted to force her to perform oral sex, according to the suit. After Jenna began screaming, McGuire stopped and ordered her to follow him to his car.
McGuire than repeated his threat to have social services take Jenna’s two children if she told anyone about the sexual assault.
In the past, multiple Paso Robles residents have accused McGuire of making false allegations to social services.
In 2017, McGuire searched Glen O’Hagan’s home after allegedly receiving a tip regarding child neglect. During the search, McGuire said he found drug paraphernalia on a visitor in the yard.
McGuire was successful in getting charges filed against O’Hagan and having social services remove his infant son. Even though O’Hagan was eventually cleared of all charges, the child had already been adopted by a foster family.
O’Hagan believes the arrest was related to homophobia.
“Two fagots have no business raising a child,” O’Hagan said McGuire told him during his arrest.
McGuire’s history of misconduct as a law enforcement officer started long before he was hired by the Paso Robles Police Department, according to the lawsuit.
“At the start of McGuire’s law enforcement career, McGuire was a police office for another law enforcement agency,” according to the lawsuit. “McGuire’s employment was terminated with the law enforcement agency in 2001 after allegations that McGuire engaged in an inappropriate relationship with a minor.”
In 2018, the SLO County Sheriff’s Office conducted an investigation and found at least three women who alleged McGuire assaulted and harassed them. In addition, investigators discovered McGuire routinely engaged in sexual intercourse and oral sex while on patrol.
“The SLO County Sheriff’s Office has obtained evidence corroborating McGuire’s sexual assault of Plaintiff including DNA evidence and approximately a dozen witnesses corroborating the allegations,” according to the lawsuit.
The sheriff’s office recommended the SLO County District Attorney’s Office charge McGuire with forcible rape, attempted forcible rape and assault and battery, but prosecutors announced in Nov. 2018 that the DA’s office would not file charges against the officer because they did not believe they could win the case.
In 2019, Jenna attempted to advance a civil case against McGuire. She petitioned the San Luis Obispo County Court for a late claim because the six-month statute of limitations had passed.
On Aug. 13, 2019, Judge Ginger Garrett ruled there was no excusable neglect to warrant a late claim.
On Dec. 5, 2019, attorneys David Ring and James Lewis filed the sexual battery, stalking, negligence and civil rights violations suit against the Paso Robles Police Department in federal court.
The defendants responded with a motion to dismiss based on the six-month statute of limitations and on insufficient evidence to show negligence in hiring and training officers. The court then dismissed the portion of the suit related to negligence.
United States District Judge Philip S. Gutierrez, however, did not agree with Judge Garrett’s interpretation of the six-month statute of limitations.
Because of the threats and intimidation that allegedly occurred after the rape, the statute of limitations did not start until Oct. 2018, Judge Gutierrez ruled.
The jury trial is set for Aug. 17, 2021 at the U.S. Courthouse in Los Angeles.