San Jose cop charged with exposure had sexual assault investigated

A San Jose police officer prosecuted over allegations he masturbated in front of a family while answering a call last month was investigated for sexual assault last year after he allegedly was charged with groping an intoxicated woman at a party at the home of another police officer, according to authorities and the woman.

Officer Matthew Dominguez, 32, was arrested last week after being charged with exposing himself to a family, including a mother and daughter, while responding to a domestic disturbance call in April. He is not in custody and is due in court on June 22 on one count of misdemeanor exposure.

Dominguez, who has been a police officer in San Jose for four years, could face a year in prison and be required to register as a sex offender if convicted of the charge. He is currently on paid administrative leave from the police department after being physically fired from work by Chief Anthony Mata. Dominguez does not have a lawyer listed and attempts to reach him on Thursday were unsuccessful.

After Dominguez’s arrest, a Bay Area woman went public with her claim that Dominguez sexually harassed and assaulted her at a Memorial Day party in the backyard of the Campbell home in Edmonton. another policeman from San Jose. His allegation was investigated, but no charges were ever filed in this case.

Menlo Park resident Jennifer Rodrigues, 25, said that at the May 2021 party, Dominguez allegedly touched her breasts and thigh and kept trying to touch her even after she rebuffed his advances. Rodrigues said she and her boyfriend, Andrew Pouliot, 30, reported the alleged sexual assault last June to the San Jose Police Independent Auditor’s Office, which in turn alerted the Cases Unit internal to the SJPD. The account was later shared with the Campbell Police Department, according to authorities and documents provided to this news agency.

In her initial June 2021 complaint filed with the police auditor, Rodrigues said she and Pouliot were talking with friends around 10 p.m. as the party began to wind down, when a visibly inebriated Dominguez sat next to Rodrigues and allegedly started touching her hair and breasts. She added that when she tried to pull away, he started touching her thigh and tried to “foot play” with her.

“First he went on my boobs and it was just the top part and I thought he was just touching my hair but he kept doing it and after I leaned to the right, it went towards my thigh,” Rodrigues said in an interview.

Rodrigues said she then tried to get Pouliot’s attention and got him to come by texting him about what was going on.

Pouliot said he then contacted his friend, the owner of the house who is also an SJPD officer, according to the complaint. Two other friends of Pouliot join them and they discuss what happened between Dominguez and Rodrigues. Pouliot claimed the second officer told him that Dominguez had made advances to his own girlfriend that night and was “cornering her in the kitchen.”

Pouliot said he decided not to face Dominguez due to Dominguez’s level of intoxication and the presence of other police officers at the party. Later that night, Pouliot said Dominguez allegedly made “inappropriate remarks” about Rodrigues’ breasts and began “leaning heavily” on her, according to the complaint.

Rodrigues said she then detailed her story to Campbell Police Detectives and told them she wanted to press charges. Campbell Police Captain Ian White told this news agency that an investigation was conducted and the findings were sent to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office, but prosecutors refused to file. criminal charges based on the case as presented.

San Jose police said in a statement that an administrative investigation into Dominguez’s conduct at the party is ongoing.

Rodrigues said the outcome of the investigation was never communicated to him. It wasn’t until earlier this month, when news broke that Dominguez was accused of masturbating in a family’s home, that she and Pouliot heard from the SJPD again – nearly 11 months later. their first correspondence. On May 6, after the sexual misconduct allegations against Dominguez surfaced publicly, San Jose police investigators asked Pouliot to provide screenshots of texts he and Rodrigues had exchanged on the night of the Memorial Day celebration.

Pouliot and Rodrigues said they were disappointed not to have heard from law enforcement for nearly a year after their complaint and learned of the conclusion of the investigation from this news outlet.

“It’s just super disappointing that they don’t want to do anything about it,” Rodrigues said. “The fact that they put my case aside and they don’t even have the heart to call and discuss it… I feel like they don’t care about the women going through this. I deserve compassion and respect like any other victim.

In the wake of the Dominguez accusations — and a series of other officer misconduct scandals that have surfaced over the past month — Mata has pledged to improve the department’s training and hiring processes. San Jose Police Department, and to increase supervisor accountability for identifying and resolving problematic behavior on the base.

The couple wonder if a different response to their complaint against Dominguez might have prevented others from being victimized.

“They hadn’t really asked any other follow-up questions or updated us and now unfortunately there are more casualties,” Rodrigues said. “It just drove me crazy because those people didn’t have to go through that.”

“This situation with this family was avoidable and it happened anyway,” added Pouliot. “There is a pattern of abuse.”

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