Attorneys for a teen at the center of a sexual exploitation scandal that has led to investigations in a number of Bay area law enforcement agencies have filed a claim against San Francisco seeking $18 million in damages.
The claim was filed Sept. 30 by attorneys Pamela Price and Charles Bonner on behalf of a woman, now 19, who goes by the pseudonym Celeste Guap. Guap has alleged that she had sex with a number of police officers from Bay Area law enforcement agencies while she was an underage sex worker. In return, some of those officers allegedly tipped her off to police enforcement actions.
The complaint alleges that three San Francisco officers, identified only by the initials A.L., G.N., and R.D. and their supervisors and superiors “either directly engaged in, stood by with a blind eye or acted to cover up this modern day slavery” by police.
“They coerced (the plaintiff) to continue such acts for her so-called protection,” the complaint states.
Price and Bonner also filed claims with Oakland and Richmond last month totaling $96 million and said they planned claims against Alameda County and Livermore as well as San Francisco.
The sex trafficking allegations have so far resulted in criminal charges in Alameda County against five current and former Oakland police officers, a former Contra Costa County sheriff’s deputy and a former Livermore police officer.
In Richmond, officials have said 11 officers were investigated and no criminal charges were filed but some face disciplinary actions ranging from termination to letters of reprimand and counseling.
In San Francisco, police have said they are investigating the allegations.
The claim is a precursor to a possible lawsuit, and San Francisco has six months to respond to it. A spokesperson with the City Attorney’s Office Thursday said they had received the claim and were reviewing it, but did not have further comment.