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City in CA Reaches a $25M Settlement With Women Who Were Sexually Assaulted by Officer

Police officer in a yellow police vest walking in front of a patrol car

San Mateo finalized its largest ever lawsuit settlement, paying $25 million to three victims sexually assaulted by a former police officer while he was on duty in 2015.

Noah Winchester was convicted in 2019 of sexually assaulting multiple women between 2013 and 2015 and was sentenced to more than 80 years in prison. In 2022, a civil suit was brought against the city, claiming that the Police Department was grossly negligent in its hiring of the officer, ignoring red flags, including previous sexual abuse allegations, that arose from working at other police departments.

“I would hope that the $25 million settlement against the city would be strong motivation for the city to take a very close look at their hiring practices and to make changes, but, as of yet, we still haven’t seen evidence of that,” Todd Emanuel, the attorney for the three women pursuing the civil case, said. “It concerns me that the city may still hold a terribly mistaken belief that Officer Winchester was just a fluke or just an unforeseeable rogue officer. That is not the case at all.”


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