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Monday, January 24, 2022

Sexual harassment accuser sues former Riverside County MP

A former Riverside County sheriff’s deputy accused of sexually abusing three women is now facing a civil lawsuit alleging he violated the civil rights of one of his accusers.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Riverside, lists 58-year-old Michael Dean of Norco and Riverside County as defendants. The Southern California Newsgroup does not publish the names of victims or alleged victims of sexual assault.

Dean was arrested in April 2021 and charged with the rape of one woman on June 9, 2020 and two, including the plaintiff, on February 19, 2019, while he was on duty. He is charged with two counts of sexual penetration using force, violence and fear and one count of sexual penetration using a foreign object against a person while intoxicated.

On February 19, 2019, Dean responded to a distress call at the plaintiff’s Moreno Valley home, according to the lawsuit. She was under the influence of recreational cannabis, experienced an “episode of perceptual disorder and psychosis” and undressed in the front yard.

Dean entered the woman’s house and found her naked. He told her to lie down on the couch and “assured the plaintiff that he was there to help her.” He grabbed the object and told the woman that she could calm down if she placed the object inside herself, then raped her until she passed out, according to the lawsuit.

“These heinous acts were committed against the will of the plaintiff and without her consent, while she was conscious and unconscious,” the lawsuit says.

Dean, according to the lawsuit, also took pictures of the woman on his personal cell phone at the time of the alleged sexual assault, and those pictures were later discovered by a sheriff’s coroner.

Paramedics arrived at the woman’s home after the alleged sexual assault and took her to the Riverside University Health System Medical Center, where she stabilized. According to the lawsuit, she was never provided with an incident report from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, nor any information about who answered the call to her home.

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It wasn’t until November 16, 2020 that the woman learned Dean’s identity from a phone call she received from a Sheriff’s Department investigator who informed her of the photos he found on Dean’s cell phone.

“The coroner told Plaintiff that on February 19, 2019, Riverside County Sheriff’s Deputy Michael Dean took a photograph of her as she lay unconscious on a couch,” the lawsuit says.

In another incident on June 9, 2020, Dean answered a domestic violence call in Moreno Valley where a 27-year-old woman was assaulted by her boyfriend. According to the sheriff’s coroner, the victim told Dean that she wanted to go to Arizona to avoid an abusive relationship, and Dean agreed to take her to the bus station in Perris.

However, the satellite tracking system in Dean’s patrol car showed that he first stopped for four minutes on Riward Road in the Moreno Valley. The sheriff’s investigator said in a statement that the woman made an audiotape of the entire 25-minute drive, during which Dean encouraged her to be sexually stimulated in a patrol car.

Riverside County spokesperson Brooke Federico said in an email that Dean is no longer with the county, which has not yet received the lawsuit and is not commenting on the lawsuit. She said: “All employees must maintain high professional and legal standards that reflect our mission, which is to be responsible for the trust, safety and well-being of the community.”

Dean faces up to 24 years in prison if found guilty on all counts. He remains out on bail and will next appear in court on March 4 at a criminal settlement conference, District Attorney spokesman John Hall said.

Dean could not be reached for comment. His attorney, Jeff Moore, did not respond to requests for comment.

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