Lynne Curtain of Real Housewives of Orange County
“Real Housewives of Orange County” cast member Lynne Curtin, whose ex-porn actress daughter Alexa Curtin was sexually assaulted by an on-duty sheriff’s deputy. Photo: Bravo

Orange County will have to pay $2.25 million to an ex-porn actress and daughter of a former “Real Housewives of Orange County” cast member after a federal jury ruled the daughter was sexually assaulted by a former sheriff’s deputy while he was on duty.

The jury heard evidence that the sheriff’s department had received notice of a prior sexual assault in 2013 by the same deputy, but he was allowed to continue working.

Alexa Curtin, who had sued Orange County over the 2014 attack, was not in the downtown Los Angeles courtroom when the federal jury returned with the verdict following about two hours of deliberations Friday.

In an earlier phase of the three-day trial, U.S. District Judge Stephen Wilson determined that Curtin had been sexually assaulted by former Deputy Nicholas Caropino.

On Thursday, the jury found that the department had inadequate policies and practices in place regarding the handling of such allegations against deputies.

According to the complaint, Caropino responded to a domestic dispute in April, 2014 in Dana Point involving the then-21-year-old victim and her ex-boyfriend. No arrests were made, but the deputy drove Curtin to her car parked nearby.

After the deputy searched her car and found underwear, Caropino began asking Curtin about the undergarments, the lawsuit states. Saying that he had to leave, the deputy told her to stay in her car and he would return shortly.

Caropino returned about 20 minutes later in his street clothes and driving his own car. Curtin contends he got into the passenger seat of her car and told her he was going to have sex with her. She described the encounter as “non-consensual” sexual intercourse.

Curtin, who appeared on Real Housewives of Orange County alongside her mother, Lynne Curtin, sued for violation of her civil rights, alleging mental anguish, emotional distress and financial loss.

Her attorney, Daniel Balaban, asked the jury for $40 million, and county attorneys argued for damages of $1.5 million.

Caropino — who did not appear in court during the trial — was fired from the force and faces no criminal charges, attorneys said. There was no explanation of the lack of criminal charges.

“This was a very attentive jury that navigated some highly complex issues,” Balaban said outside court.

— Staff and wire reports

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