Anthony DeMarco negotiates $2.75 million settlement in Irwindale Police Explorer sex abuse case
The City of Irwindale has paid a settlement of $2.75 million to a girl who was sexually molested by now former officer Daniel Camerano who served as an advisor to the Irwindale Police Explorers program. In 2015 Camerano was sentenced to state prison for child molestation. The girl was sexually molested by Camerano repeatedly in the Irwindale Police station as well as on “ride-alongs” with Camerano. In the victim’s civil action against the City of Irwindale, evidence was uncovered that Police department officials were aware of complaints that Camerano was sexually abusing the underage female Explorer, but did not stop his access to and, thus, continued abuse of of the girl. The settlement was reached after the girl filed civil suit and shortly before her case was scheduled for trial. She was represented in her action by Anthony M. DeMarco, Esq. in Pasadena, who specializes in representing child sexual abuse victims, abused while participating in youth serving organizations.
According to Mr. DeMarco “The abuse of my client occurred because of a culture of acceptance of sexual abuse and harassment of girls and women that was allowed to persist in the Irwindale Police Department.. She, like others, was forced to endure sexual abuse and harassment in silence or risk losing her dream of a career in law enforcement. The reaction of the Irwindale Police Department to Camerano’s abuse of underage female Explorers was symptomatic of a culture within the Department that was accepting of sexual abuse and harassment of females by male officers.” Now former officer David Paul Fraijo in 2015 was criminally convicted and sentenced to state prison for sexually assaulting a female motorist who he had pulled over in a traffic stop. Lt. Mario Camacho had a civil lawsuit filed against him for sexual harassment of a female cadet in the department. Complaints had previously surfaced of an Irwindale Police Lieutenant Mark Benevidez who had been accused sexually harassing female staff members, as well as at least one underage female Police Explorer of the Department. As of September of 2014 there were 14 internal investigation complaints regarding the police department with less than 30 officers.
The Police Explorers is a nationwide program administered by Learning for Life, affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America, which serves as a bridge to allow youth to develop a career in law enforcement by observing, working with, and being mentored law enforcement officials. In recent years studies and reports have documented that underage Explorers and especially female Explorers are frequently subjected to sexual harassment and molestation by the officers who are supposed to me mentoring them.
During the course of investigations on the case, other underage girls in the Irwindale Police Department confirmed they too had been sexually abused by then Officer Camerano while they participated in the Irwindale Police Explorer program. One other civil lawsuit involving a victim of Camerano is currently pending and has a trial date in early 2018.
Copies of Complaint and other materials can be viewed at: https://lawofficeofanthonymdemarco.com/police-explorer-sex-abuse/