Former San Bernardino County Sheriff’s deputy Nathan Gastineau sits during his preliminary hearing in a San Bernardino Superior Courtroom December 15, 2011. Gastineau, 30, of Redlands, is charged with sexual acts with a teenaged female Explorer. (Gabriel Luis Acosta, Staff Photographer)
Mike Cruz, Staff Writer
Posted: 01/03/2012 04:17:20 PM PST
SAN BERNARDINO – A Redlands girl who says she was sexually abused by a former sheriff’s deputy while in the sheriff’s Explorer program also alleges in a civil lawsuit that administrators at the Sheriff’s Department and the Public Safety Academy, a charter school in San Bernardino, were negligent or failed to act.
Los Angeles-based attorney John West of the office of Gloria Allred filed the personal injury lawsuit on Dec. 13 in San Bernardino Superior Court on behalf of the unnamed girl and her father.
Defendants named in the lawsuit are former Deputy Nathan Gastineau, the charter school, the Sheriff’s Department and the city of Highland, according to a copy of the lawsuit obtained Tuesday.
The plaintiffs allege four main causes of action, including negligence, sexual harassment in the workplace and sexual battery, and seek an unspecified amount of general, compensatory and special damages.
“I have no comment on the matter,” West said when reached Tuesday by telephone.
Gastineau, 31, also of Redlands, was arrested in April when the Sheriff’s Department learned he may have had inappropriate sexual relations with the 16-year-old girl. By June, he was no longer a deputy.
Gastineau was charged on June 10 and is awaiting trial on five criminal counts each of committing a lewd act upon a child and two counts of having unlawful intercourse.
He has pleaded not guilty in San Bernardino Superior Court. His lawyer in the criminal case, Andrew Haynal, has challenged the girl’s statement to sheriff’s detectives.
“I think the alleged victim has a lot of discrepancies in her various statements,” Haynal told the court at a Dec. 15 preliminary hearing.
The girl met Gastineau through the Explorer program at the sheriff’s Highland station, deputies testified at the hearing.
After initially denying to detectives that she had sex with Gastineau, the girl later admitted to having sex with him about 20 times – six times before her 16th birthday, according to sheriff’s Detective Julie Brumm.
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