Santa Cruz County

Watsonville police lieutenant accused of sexual battery, harassment

WATSONVILLE, Calif. - UPDATE 9/13/2016 4:51 PM: An attorney representing Watsonville Lieutenant Saul Gonzalez issued a statement Tuesday afternoon saying the city hired an outside investigator who specializes in workplace misconduct to investigate Suzanne Fulton's claims after they were made.

In the statement Gonzalez's attorney Michael Rains also said "There was never any inappropriate or unwanted sexual contact between Lieutenant Gonzalez and the Plaintiff.  The investigation found that the Plaintiff had been repeatedly dishonest concerning the most serious allegations she leveled at Lieutenant Gonzalez."

Rains also said he feels confident the discipline imposed on Gonzalez will be overturned.

Watsonville Police Chief David Honda said Gonzalez stopped working for the city sometime last week. He said the city won't comment any further on the case.

KION has also reached out to the city manager.

PREVIOUS STORY: An Watsonville police lieutenant is facing allegations of sexual harassment and battery after an incident involving the department's crime analyst last year.

According to a civil lawsuit filed with Santa Cruz Superior Court, Lt. Saul Gonzalez is accused of forcing Suzanne Fulton to have sex with him after showing up at her house with rum and coke on November 13.

Attorney Darrell York, representing Fulton, sent KION a copy of the lawsuit on Tuesday.  York said he would not comment on the case right now.

Gonzalez' voicemail at the Watsonville Police Department states he is out of the office until January 10. A message was also left with police chief David Honda.

The lawsuit states Gonzalez expressed his personal feelings for her last July or August. Fulton stated she didn't have any personal feelings for him, reminding him he was her immediate supervisor, according to the lawsuit.

Gonzalez is also accused of "prying" into Fulton's personal affairs and sending her inappropriate, non-work related text messages.

During the November 13th incident, the lawsuit states Gonzalez offered to meet Fulton because she was upset over being away from her daughter and her mother's medical issues. Gonzalez is accused of failing to meet her at a mutually agreeable location, instead showing up at her home.

The lawsuit further explains Gonzalez and Fulton drank together in her living room, when he started to kiss her against her wishes. Fulton admitted she was feeling the affects of the alcohol and claims Gonzalez didn't stop, removing his clothes and hers.

Fulton explains she repeatedly asked Gonzalez to stop, but he forced her to have sex with him by pinning her to the couch, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit also states Fulton reported the incident to lieutenant Jorge Zamora on December 29 but didn't receive counseling and claims her work is being more closely scrutinized.

Records show the case was filed May 12 and is expected to be back in court September 21.


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