Johnston & Hutchinson LLP Announces $1,000,000 Settlement With The City Of Brawley And Former Officer

LOS ANGELES, April 05, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A woman who accused the City of Brawley and former police officer Ricardo Gabriel Valdez of civil rights violations, negligent hiring, supervision and retention and sexual battery has reached a $1,000,000 settlement with the City of Brawley and a former officer, according to Thomas Johnston, with the law firm Johnston & Hutchinson LLP.

The woman, identified in court documents as Jane Doe, settled her 2021 lawsuit where she accused Brawley officer Ricardo Gabriel Valdez of arresting her for DUI, and after taking her to the hospital for blood tests, Valdez was accused of transporting her home. Jane Doe alleged she woke up with Valdez having sex with her after he dropped her off at home. Valdez’s sperm was found in her bed. The Imperial County Sheriff’s Department led the criminal investigation.

As a result of the Imperial County Sheriff’s investigation, Brawley Police Officer Ricardo Gabriel Valdez was arrested in 2021 on multiple felony charges. He was accused of rape of an unconscious victim, sexual battery by restraint, first degree residential burglary and assault by a public officer in connection to events alleged to have occurred on June 21, 2021, while he was on duty.

In August 2021, the Imperial County District Attorney’s Office dropped its case against Valdez. After his arrest, Officer Valdez was placed on administrative leave by Brawley Police Department and later resigned from the force.

“I am grateful that I will not have to relive this trauma before a jury; this has been horrific in many ways. No amount of settlement can change what I have had to endure these past few years. I am discouraged and upset that a police officer took advantage of his badge. This horrible incident has changed my life, and I am glad I can begin to put it behind me,” said Jane Doe.

“The settlement document dismisses Jane Doe’s lawsuit. My client’s efforts and bravery in sharing her ordeal have made the City of Brawley safer. I hope that Jane Doe, who was courageous to come forward, can now put this behind her and focus her efforts on her healing,” said attorney Thomas Johnston, who represented Jane Doe.

To view the settlement, click here.

Media Contact: Eric Rose