A former San Diego County sheriff’s deputy jailed for groping and sexually assaulting more than a dozen women while on duty was released from custody earlier this month, but not due to any early release agreements, the District Attorney’s Office said Thursday.
Richard Fischer, 34, was sentenced last December to 44 months behind bars followed by 16 months of post-release supervision.
“He was released on May 15 after receiving custody credits under the law, which is standard for every qualifying inmate,” according to a statement issued by the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office.
“These credits were calculated by the Imperial County Probation Department and implemented by the sheriff. There were no agreements to an early release by DA’s office. It does not appear that there was an early release by the Sheriff’s Department.”
Fischer’s attorney, Gretchen Von Helms, told CBS8 that he spent about 18 months on an ankle bracelet before entering his guilty plea last September, then served the remainder of his time in jail. With good behavior, his 44-month jail sentence was halved.
Fischer pleaded guilty to four felony counts of assault under color of authority, two misdemeanor counts of assault under color of authority and one misdemeanor count of false imprisonment. The charges stemmed from attacks between 2015 and 2017 on 16 women, some of whom he arrested and others he met while responding to 911 calls the victims made.
The former U.S. Marine originally faced 20 felony and misdemeanor charges and was looking at potentially more than 25 years to life prior to the plea agreement.
“The issue of credits that inmates receive in jail or prison are understandably a point of concern for victims of crime as they are left with an expectation of how much time an offender will actually do behind bars when the reality could be different,” the District Attorney’s Office statement reads.
“Richard Fischer stands convicted of multiple felony crimes, is no longer in a position of trust that allows him to perpetrate further harm and he is under mandatory supervision.”