MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. --The 19-year-old at the center of the police scandal that has hit seven law enforcement agencies around the Bay Area was released from a Florida jail on Wednesday.
The release was the latest chapter for a young woman known as Celeste Guap, who said she now wants to be called by her legal name, Jasmine Abuslin.
Her attorneys criticized the Richmond Police Department for allegedly transferring Abuslin across the country for rehab. The lawyers said they are planning lawsuits against officers who had sex with Abuslin, which in some cases allegedly occurred when she was underage.
Abuslin was flanked by her legal representatives and her father after leaving jail. Her mother, Oakland police dispatcher Monica Cedillo, was not present.
The 19-year-old pleaded no contest to misdemeanor battery in an altercation with a rehab worker. Now her attorneys are looking to sue police officers in four Bay Area counties, accusing them of trafficking Abuslin for sex.
"Take a look around. You don't know who's being sex trafficked, you don't know who is a victim of human trafficking," said Pamela Price, one of Abuslin's attorneys. "Human trafficking is a $1 billion industry in this country and around the world, and most of the victims are women and children, and it only survives because we tolerate it."
Seven current and former officers in Alameda County are facing different criminal charges including engaging in prostitution, oral copulation with a minor, obstruction. More charges may be forthcoming in other counties. Abuslin told KGO-TV she was involved with more than 30 officers, four when she was underage.
"She is entitled, certainly, to compensation from each one of the jurisdictions where officers have violated the law and violated her civil rights," said Price.
Price also took aim at the Richmond Police Department for its alleged role in sending Abuslin to a Florida rehab facility.
"We have many lovely facilities in the Bay Area, throughout California, and the kind of treatment that this young woman needs is not a drug-rehab program," said Price.
Richmond Police Chief Allwyn Brown did not return repeated calls seeking comment, but he did release a statement Monday saying, "Representations that we 'sent' this teenage witness away or had her 'removed' to Florida distort reality. Her ultimate choice was no sudden revelation either - it was publically disclosed in early July 2016."
Abuslin's criminal defense attorney contradicted that assertion in court Wednesday.
"She was sent here by a police agency, told that she needed help for a substance abuse and possibly sex addictions," said Richard Kibbey, Abuslin's defense attorney.
Going forward, another one of her attorneys said, "Celeste Guap exists no more," adding that Jasmine Abuslin has plans for the future.
"She has freed herself from that other life, she intends now to go to school and get a degree and ultimately to go to veterinarian school and become a doctor," said lawyer Charles Bonner.
The attorneys also said they will be arranging protection for Abuslin after she received threats on her life.