Another Payout Coming for Victim of San Diego Police Officer Sexual Misconduct

San Diego is scheduled to approve on Tuesday another in a long series of payouts to victims of former police officer Christopher Hays, whose alleged sexual misconduct and inappropriate touching have cost taxpayers more than $2 million.

The latest settlement of $250,000 will go to Melanie Wilson, whom Hays allegedly groped sexually for more than three minutes after picking her up in December 2013 and giving her a ride home.

In August 2015, the city paid $550,000 to another victim who suffered a 20-minute “pat down” from Hays, and $400,000 to a separate victim who was forced to watch Hays masturbate while trapped in a bedroom.

And in April 2015, the city paid $1.3 million total to two other alleged victims of Hays.

A spokesman for City Attorney Mara Elliott said this was the final Hays case the city would be dealing with because the statute of limitations prevents additional claims and lawsuits.

His series of misconduct incidents ran from summer 2012 until late 2013.

Hays, 33, agreed to resign from the force in February 2014 after he was criminally charged for his misconduct.

That September, he pleaded guilty to false imprisonment and assault under color of authority. He was sentenced to one year in county jail and three years of probation, but was released after five months.

If Hays had been convicted at trial instead of pleading guilty, he would have been ordered to register as a sex offender for life.

The case prompted the department to establish a new policy requiring two officers to accompany any female in custody.

Just before the Hays case, San Diego paid out $5.9 million to a woman who was allegedly groped by police officer Anthony Arevalos in 2011. That followed $2.3 million in payouts to 12 additional Arevalos accusers.

Arevalos was found guilty of 12 charges including sexual battery and asking for a bribe. He is serving a sentence of more than eight years in prison.

Hays had said he planned to move back to his home state of Arkansas quickly after being released from custody.

Tuesday’s payout was agreed to during a March mediation session and approved by the City Council in a session closed to the public in June, but the amount wasn’t disclosed.

The $250,000 will cover damages, interest, costs and attorney’s fees in the Wilson case. The money will come from the city’s public liability fund, an account the city maintains to handle payouts and other legal costs.