A New Mexico city has agreed to a $3 million settlement in the case of a high school police intern who was sexually assaulted by an officer during a ride-along.
Attorneys for the city of Las Cruces and the victim confirmed Wednesday that the agreement was reached and the process of settling and dismissing the case were underway in state district court.
Michael Garcia of the Las Cruces Police Department was sentenced in 2014 to nine years in federal prison for the sexual assault. The victim, Diana Guerrero, sued the city saying the department allowed for a culture of sexism and inappropriate behavior and that Garcia was never disciplined for a history of misconduct.
“I am most happy and satisfied that this lawsuit brought to light a cesspool of sexual violence and harassment that exists in police departments across this country. I’m living proof that you can speak out against sexual violence and win justice,” said Guerrero, who is now 21. The Associated Press does not generally name the victims of sexual assault, but Guerrero agreed to her name being published.