Two rogue Eugene police officers are in prison now, but claims against the city for their actions have cost more than $1 million — and more are coming in.
EUGENE, Ore. — Two rogue Eugene police officers are in prison now, but claims against the city for their actions have cost more than $1 million — and more are coming in.
This month Eugene agreed to pay $250,000 to settle three lawsuits prompted by former police officers Roger Magana and Juan Francisco Lara, bringing the total so far above $1.06 million. Another woman sued last month, the 14th to do so in the case.
Magana is serving a 94-year prison sentence for raping, sexually abusing or harassing 13 women during his eight years on the force. Lara, with less than three years in uniform, is serving more than five years for using his position to coerce women into having sex while he was on duty.
The scandal and concerns about racial profiling led to changes in the Police Department, expensive reviews and an election proposal for citizen oversight of complaints against officers.
This weekend, voters should start getting ballots on the city charter amendment that would allow the city to hire a police monitor and appoint a citizen review board. The election is Nov. 8.
A memo from City Manager Dennis Taylor did not disclose the names of the plaintiffs.
One settlement, for $62,500, was on behalf of the “estate of TLA.”
The estate alleged that while he was on duty, Magana sexually assaulted the plaintiff three times, Taylor said. Magana was convicted of coercion, a felony, Taylor wrote.
The (Eugene) Register-Guard identified her last year as Tomme Lea Allen after her death, which was attributed to a drug overdose.
The city settled the second case for $127,000. A woman alleged that Magana sexually assaulted her several times over two years while he was on duty, Taylor wrote.
The city settled the third case for $60,000. Lara planted evidence on the plaintiff before sexually assaulting her, according to the woman’s lawsuit, Taylor wrote. Lara “later suggested that he could resolve the criminal charges in exchange for sexual favors,” a memo from Taylor said.
Taylor said the remaining cases are to go to trial in July.
Several officers and supervisors heard complaints about Magana, but they ignored or dismissed them, according to police files.
A woman sued in Sept. 5 seeking unspecified damages, claiming the city was negligent in hiring, supervising and keeping Magana on the police force “when it knew or reasonably should have known that Officer Magana was unfit to serve as a police officer.”
The woman said she was sexually assaulted by Magana about 25 times between 2000 and early 2002.
The lawsuit said Magana preyed on women with drug or alcohol problems.