The septuagenarian stroke victim repeatedly raped at her apartment over a three-year span by a Sacramento police beat cop will receive $1.35 million from the city of Sacramento and the apartment complex where she lived in a settlement announced by her attorneys Wednesday.
Disgraced former Sacramento police officer Gary Dale Baker was sentenced in November 2015 to 62 years to life in state prison for the attacks against the unnamed woman who was in her 70s and recovering from a stroke that left her unable to speak when she was sexually assaulted.
The woman was identified as “Jane Doe” in civil documents and at Baker’s 2015 criminal trial on allegations including rape, forcible oral copulation, assault with intent to commit rape and burglary connected to the incidents in 2010 and 2012.
WHETHER IT WAS HER APARTMENT COMPLEX OR SACRAMENTO POLICE DEPARTMENT, THERE WERE PEOPLE WHO DOUBTED HER. SHE CARRIED HERSELF WITH TREMENDOUS DIGNITY. SHE DOESN’T HAVE THE LUXURY OF WORDS TO SHARE HER EXPERIENCE, BUT THERE WAS SUCH A SENSE OF FIGHT IN HER.
Eric Ratinoff, attorney for rape victim ‘Jane Doe’
Sacramento police officials reached Wednesday referred queries to the city.
“This claim arose out of very unfortunate circumstances and was resolved in the best interests of both the City and plaintiff,” city spokeswoman Linda Tucker said in a brief written statement. “The City agreed to settle plaintiff’s disputed claim with no admission of liability.”
Under the terms of the settlement, the city and Sacramento Manor, the south Sacramento senior apartment complex where the woman lived, will each pay $675,000, said the woman’s attorney, Eric Ratinoff.
The city approved the settlement Tuesday. Doe and family members filed their civil suit against Baker, the city, Sacramento Manor and the complex’s management company, WGID Enterprises Inc., in 2013. A trial on the civil suit was slated to begin in April.
In a statement Wednesday, family members said they and their mother “suffered together, both publicly and privately,” and hoped for closure for Doe, calling her “the victim of a horrible crime by a despicable human being.”
“They want this over and out of their lives,” Ratinoff said of Doe and her family.
Baker was a 22-year police veteran on the south Sacramento beat before he was dismissed from the force in December 2012 after interviews with police investigators who had security camera video of an off-duty Baker walking to the woman’s apartment.
He was arrested that month on suspicion of sexually attacking the woman at her Florin Road-area apartment complex while he was off duty.
Baker’s attorney at his criminal trial said the sex was part of a “casual, consensual relationship,” but family members at trial told a far different tale relating how a tearful Doe on a Thanksgiving 2010 car ride struggled to describe the first attack and her attacker to family members despite her debilitating stroke at 74 a year earlier.
After that first attack and the others in September and December 2012, Doe used scribbled words and pointed at photographs, pantomimed the acts she was forced to perform and called out “rape” and “police,” cobbling together language to describe what she endured.
She persisted even after an investigation into the 2010 incident went cold, family and prosecutors said at trial, only for the attacks to resume.
“From the first time she was assaulted, she fought like crazy to be heard,” Ratinoff said Wednesday. “Whether it was her apartment complex or Sacramento Police Department, there were people who doubted her. It took a lot of courage. She carried herself with tremendous dignity. She doesn’t have the luxury of words to share her experience, but there was such a sense of fight in her.”