A former Riverside County sheriff’s deputy charged with sexually assaulting three women now faces 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, named Michael Dean, 58, of Norco and the county of Riverside as defendants. The Southern California News Group does not publish the names of victims or alleged victims of sexual assault.
Dean was arrested in April 2021 and accused of sexually assaulting one woman on June 9, 2020, and two, including the plaintiff, on Feb. 19, 2019, while he was on duty. He is charged with two felony counts of sexual penetration by means of force, violence and fear and one felony count of sexual penetration with a foreign object against someone who was intoxicated.
On Feb. 19, 2019, Dean, according to the lawsuit, responded to a distress call at the plaintiff’s home in Moreno Valley. She was under the influence of recreational cannabis, experiencing an “episode of perceptual disturbance and psychosis,” and had disrobed in her front yard outside her home.
Dean entered the woman’s home to find her nude. He told her to lie down on the couch and “assured plaintiff that he was there to help her.” He grabbed an object and told the woman she could calm herself down if she placed the object inside her, then sexually assaulted her until she slipped into unconsciousness, according to the lawsuit.
“These heinous acts were performed against plaintiff’s will and without her consent while she was in and out of consciousness,” according to the lawsuit.
Dean, according to the lawsuit, also took pictures of the woman on his personal cellphone during the alleged sexual assault and those pictures were later discovered by a sheriff’s investigator.
Paramedics arrived at the woman’s home following the alleged sexual assault and took her to Riverside University Health System Medical Center, where she was stabilized. She was never provided an incident report from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, nor any information on who responded to the call to her home, according to the lawsuit.
It wasn’t until Nov. 16, 2020, that the woman learned Dean’s identity through a phone call she received from an investigator at the Sheriff’s Department, who advised her about the photographs he found on Dean’s cellphone.
“The investigator advised plaintiff that on Feb. 19, 2019, Riverside County Sheriff’s Deputy Michael Dean took photographs of her while she was unconscious on the couch,” according to the lawsuit.
In the other incident on June 9, 2020, Dean responded to a domestic violence call in Moreno Valley, where a 27-year-old woman had been assaulted by her boyfriend. According to a sheriff’s investigator, the victim told Dean that she wanted to go to Arizona to escape the abusive relationship, and Dean agreed to drive her to a bus station in Perris.
A satellite-tracking system in Dean’s patrol car, however, showed he first stopped for four minutes on Rivard Road in Moreno Valley. A declaration from the sheriff’s investigator says the woman made an audio recording of the entire 25-minute trip, during which Dean encouraged her to sexually stimulate herself while in the patrol car.
Riverside County spokeswoman Brooke Federico said in an email that Dean is no longer employed by the county, which has not yet been served with the lawsuit and doesn’t comment on litigation. She did say, “All employees are held to high professional and legal standards reflective of our mission that is responsible for the public’s trust, safety and welfare.”
Dean faces up to to 24 years in prison if convicted on all charges. He remains out of custody on bail and will next appear in court March 4 for a felony settlement conference, district attorney’s spokesman John Hall said.
Dean could not be reached for comment. His attorney, Jeff Moore, did not respond to requests for comment.