Being that they are there to serve and protect, most of us would like to believe that we have nothing to fear from the men and women who serve in the San Diego Police Department. Unfortunately, according to a recent lawsuit, that may not be the case.

The lawsuit alleges that two former police officers, Anthony Arevalos and Christopher Hays, were free to practice acts of sexual misconduct because the San Diego Police Department was constantly looking the other way. Three women have all come forward in the case. All of them claim to be victims of Hays. Arevalos, who was convicted in 2011, is part of the lawsuit because it’s being alleged that his crimes had also been largely covered up.

When Hays originally went through the police academy, a training office concluded he was unfit to serve and should not be hired, according to the lawsuit. The suit then goes on to say that this advice was overlooked because Hays was the son-in-law of Assistant Chief Mark Jones who worked to get him within the ranks of the SDPD anyway.

As there is still pending civil litigation and an investigation being done at the federal level, the San Diego Police Department can’t comment on the story at this time. However, there is reportedly an independent review of the department being handled by the Police Executive Research Forum.

While we’d all rest a lot easier without charges like these existing, they may serve to highlight that even those who wear a badge are capable of the unthinkable. That’s why you should have a qualified attorney in San Diego you can trust. Whether it’s something as serious as the charges referenced above or you simply believe an officer acted inappropriately in some other manner, you need representation to ensure your rights are being respected and upheld.