Los Angeles will pay up to $1.5 million to settle a lawsuit from a police detective who said she was assaulted, abused and blackmailed by a fellow officer, and that department officials ignored her complaints.
Det. Ysabel Villegas, a longtime employee of the department, accused Officer Daniel Reedy of beating her and threatening to share sexually explicit images he had secretly taken if she tried to end their relationship. At one point, she told Reedy that she did not want to have sex with him, but he insisted and she submitted in fear of the “consequences,” the suit said.
Villegas alleged that senior officers failed to investigate his threats and left her unprotected from the abuse.
“Instead, LAPD officers redistributed the explicit photographs, further creating a hostile work environment for Detective Villegas,” the lawsuit alleged.
Reedy denied her allegations in a court filing last year. He has since pleaded not guilty to criminal charges that include extortion, injuring a girlfriend and violating a court order. The charges could lead to a maximum of six years in state prison.
The city, in turn, argued in a court filing that Villegas could not claim damages because she had violated department rules and hidden the extramarital relationship from the LAPD and its employees. City attorneys also said that Los Angeles took “prompt remedial action” after learning of the alleged harassment by putting Officer Reedy on leave in December 2018.
The Los Angeles City Council unanimously voted to approve the settlement payment Tuesday. Attorney Lisa Bloom, who represents Villegas, declared the settlement a victory.
“We fought for and won this $1.5 million award for Ysabel, after she endured outrageous sexual harassment, revenge porn and intimate partner violence and her employer, the LAPD, failed to protect her,” Bloom said in a statement. “The settlement has no confidentiality provision, so she is free to tell her story.”
“This settles all her civil claims against everyone, and she will fully cooperate with the criminal and Internal Affairs cases,” Bloom added.
An attorney representing Reedy in the civil case did not respond to messages seeking comment.