By City News Service
The Los Angeles City Council agreed Wednesday to pay $575,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by a police informant who claimed she was forced to have sex with her two LAPD handlers.
The settlement for Tammy Kim was approved on a 14-0 vote. Her case had been scheduled to go to trial in federal court in March.
Kim sued the city last January, naming officers Bill Nichols and Luis Valenzuela, and alleging assault, battery, sexual battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress and civil rights violations.
Her attorney, Dennis Chang, said they opted to settle the case because Kim is still finishing out a prison sentence. The final payout amount was also agreeable to her, he said.
The officers were put on administrative leave and are moving through the police department's board of rights hearing process, which determines if they will be terminated, Chang said.
According to her suit, Kim began working as an LAPD informant in 2009 and over time named numerous drug offenders and provided the officers with information needed to make arrests. But that same year, Valenzuela, who worked in the Hollywood Division, told her she had not given up the names of enough suspects to satisfy him, according to the suit.
"(Valenzuela) informed her that if (she) slept with him, he would give her additional credits on the next arrest," according to the suit. Kim says she agreed to have sex with Valenzuela, who warned her not to tell anyone.
In September 2010, Valenzuela took her out of jail to help him make an arrest, according to the plaintiff.
"Several weeks later, (Valenzuela) forced (Kim) to have sex with him again in the back seat of his vehicle, again threatening her with jail, the suit alleges.
Kim says she began working with Nichols after Valenzuela was transferred in November 2010. She claims she also agreed to have sex with him in January and February 2011, after he said he would in turn keep her out of jail.
But Kim says she was never credited with assisting the officers in making arrests and has been incarcerated since April 2011.