A former teenage police explorer who was repeatedly molested by an Irwindale police officer sued the Police Department on Monday, alleging it knew or should have known about the abuse.
The officer, Daniel Camerano, 27, is currently serving two years and eight months in prison after being convicted of molesting the underage girl and sending sexual text messages to a second female explorer.
Her attorney said his client's situation was part of a larger problem at the department.
"This case is disturbing and tragic on a number of levels," said Anthony DeMarco, the girl's attorney "Camerano was abusing these girls and being blatant about it. And because of the culture of the station, Camerano was not punished or stopped. Instead, he was encouraged."
Irwindale City Atty. Fred Galante said he was aware of the lawsuit but declined to comment.
The suit alleges that Camerano would lead the girl past his senior commanders offices. After a male explorer complained about Camarano's alleged conduct, the suit says, the officer was temporarily removed as a program advisor. But he was later allowed to return to the program, the suit alleges.
Camerano resigned from the department last June after being on leave for more than a year during the investigation.
A female police cadet has also sued the department, claiming she was sexually harassed by a lieutenant.