Westlake resident Tammy Kim has agreed to settle her rape case against the city and the Los Angeles Police Department for $575,000.
She filed her original lawsuit in January 2013. The suit was subsequently moved to federal court. Her lawyer Donald Cook says the settlement deal was reached Monday but still needs City Council approval.
Ms. Kim alleged in her lawsuit that Officers Luis Valenzuela and Jim Nichols preyed on her because she had a criminal record. They kept threatening to send her back to jail unless she had sex with them.
Her allegations gained credence when it was leaked that three other women had filed similar complaints against Valenzuela and Nichols, as early as 2010. LAPD had not moved on those allegations until Kim filed her lawsuit.
The settlement comes out of taxpayers’ coffers. LAPD says the two officers will be “disciplined” though locals have long lost hope that any of the rape cops will be criminally charged.
There is still a pending police-brutality lawsuit against Nichols, which was filed by bank executive Brian Mulligan. Nichols and Valenzuela previously worked as partners in Hollywood Division, until Nichols was transferred to Northeast Division and Valenzuela to Koreatown’s Olympic Division.
From the affidavit in another James Nichols – Luis Valenzuela incident:
The driver officer then got out of the vehicle and sat in the rear seat adjacent to [the victim]… The passenger officer then got into the driver’s seat and drove them for a short distance to an unknown location. The officer seated next to her… “unzipped his pants and forced [her] head down towards his lap and physically held her head down and forced her to orally copulate him. After some time, he then told her to get out of the car.”
The passenger officer was white. The driver officer was Hispanic.
UPDATE: City Council signed off on the settlement on January 15, 2014.