Woman claims California Highway Patrol officer sexually assaulted her twice in Santa Ana

SANTA ANA, Calif. (KABC) -- A woman claims a California Highway Patrol officer sexually assaulted her during a traffic stop in Santa Ana.

She said it happened once during the stop and then a second time when she said the officer showed up at her home to do it again.

Ruth Chavez spoke Wednesday alongside her attorney, describing what she said happened to her on April 6 on the side of the 5 Freeway. Her husband was pulled over and issued a ticket for driving with an expired license plate.

Chavez said the CHP officer asked her to get out, took her to the back of the car and grabbed her genitals and breasts. Afterward, the couple drove home.

She said two hours later the officers showed up at her home and did it again.

"He positions his patrol car on the side of the parking lot and opens the two doors of his SUV patrol car. Then he positions her between the two doors and again proceeds to grope her genitalia and breasts in a sexually inappropriate manner," attorney Juan Dominguez said.

Chavez said it's been difficult to talk about the situation as it was a CHP officer and she was scared he could do something else to her.

The victim's lawyer said there are cameras all around the apartment complex, and one of them captured the second suspected sexual assault. He said the Santa Ana Police Department has the surveillance video and are reviewing it.

There are now both criminal and civil investigations.

The CHP released a statement.

"The CHP is fully cooperating with the investigating agency. In addition, the CHP is conducting its own investigation into the allegations. While the investigation is being conducted, the employee has been placed on administrative leave and his peace officer powers have been revoked," it said, in part.
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