Woman raped by car mechanic claims dealership gave him access to her address
A woman is suing a Newport Beach car dealership, claiming that one of its mechanics raped her after looking up her address in the dealer’s computer records.
Travis Dewayne Batten, a mechanic for Fletcher Jones Motorcars, was convicted in 2014 and sentenced to 107 years in prison in a pair of sexual assaults, including a 2005 attack on Karen Sommers.
FOR THE RECORD
May 12, 8:05 p.m.: An earlier version of this story said that Travis Batten was sentenced to 105 years in prison. Batten was sentenced to 107 years.
Sommers purchased a car from Fletcher Jones around 2004 and had it serviced there. Sommers and Batten did not know each other, authorities said.
Sommers’ civil suit claims that Batten accessed the company’s records to find her address in Newport Beach’s Eastbluff neighborhood.
Prosecutors said Batten broke into Sommers’ residence through an unlocked door while she wasn’t there, and when she returned home he attacked her, constraining her hands with duct tape before sexually assaulting and punching her.
“After the incident, it was the worst. I lived in complete despair,” Sommers, 51, told KTLA-TV.
In most cases The Times does not publish names of victims of sexual crimes. Sommers came forward with her allegations publicly.
Karl Lindegren, an attorney for Fletcher Jones, said Wednesday that the company cannot comment on active litigation.
According to court records, Fletcher Jones conducted a criminal background check on Batten before his employment but found nothing. A judge decided that the dealership also was “not put on notice that Batten had been misusing and/or misappropriating customers’ private information.”
Zint writes for Times Community News.
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