Monday, January 25, 2010

Transgendered woman abused by Sonoma County Sheriff's

A couple of months ago, I was contacted by a woman who claimed to have been seriously harassed and abused by the Sonoma County Sheriff's when she attempted to report being stalked. On top of some typical violations of civil rights including illegal search and seizure of her property, she was sexually harassed because of her gender (she is a transgendered female). She wanted to make her case known in the hopes that it would prevent this sort of abuse in the future. She has been forced to move from Sonoma County, where she grew up, and out of California, due to what she feels is a complete lack of justice from law enforcement and local officials. Below is part of her story. Please check out her website for more information and please spread the word about this story.

-Carl, IMPACT!

On Sept. 22 , 2009 , I was between several towns which include Guerneville, Forestville, and Fulton. I was being stalked in this area. I wrote down the license number of the vehicle , contacted Windsor police dept. , which is run by the Sonoma county sheriff's dept.. I was advised to go to the sheriff's dept in Santa Rosa. Even if the officer was correct on that particular license plate number, that it was incorrect, license plates can be tampered with in many different ways.
I went over to the sheriff's dept to make a report regarding the stalking and instead I found myself having to be victimized again.
I arrived at Sonoma county sheriff's office at approximately 11:25 pm , on the 22 Sept. , pushed the button for the sheriff office and the woman stated she would summon an officer to arrive there on Ventura avenue, to take the report.

I waited at the front door of the sheriff's dept , I had advised the officer at the speaker at the front door that I wanted to get a letter from the car I was in that would prove I was a victim of continual gender violence , and the officer said ok .
Approximately 5 minutes later, a Sgt. Mark Fuston of the Sheriffs' dept comes charging at me in a very threatening manner, demanding I put out my cigarette. I told him I was an adult, and I can smoke legally.

Then Sgt Fuston decided to sexually harrass me over my gender, or what he perceived my gender to be. I corrected him. However, this officer I could tell in the first few minutes this was a military type of an officer. He used military type tactics.
This officer then asked some questions, acting like he was going to take a report.
The next thing I know he was accusing me of being on meth......which was not true....
as I have never even taken meth. Then the officer stated I was on alcohol even though there was no alcohol on my breath. The way this had occurred is a violation of several laws including the following:
civil code 51 section b , known as the unruh act, the fourth amendment, and the fifth amendment.

First off, I was awake for approximately 36.5 hrs , had coffee to drink , and caffeine pills to keep me awake , and a couple of tylenol cold capsules due to a cold . There was no alcohol or drugs other then prescription medication, which was in the trunk, as I will not take pain medication while driving. I do have pictures showing the coffee containers. This officer was not listening to reason. I originally went to the car to look for paperwork that would verify I was a victim, not imagined , but real.

Sgt Fuston stated “I know where you will be safe, in protective custody.”

the next thing I know, the sgt mark Fuston placed handcuffs on me stating he knew of a
safe place for me to be ....meaning jail. The car I was driving was searched to find the
pain medications, then he accused me of being under the influence, which I was not, as
again i had the pain medications in the trunk and i did not want to use them while
operating a vehicle.
When i told the officer he was violating my civil liberties and rights,
the officer said “you have no rights.”
I asked for an attorney, which he refused to assist me in, although I have a right to an attorney.
This is very upsetting to me. I have never been arrested at any time for any reason. I have left the county of Sonoma and the state of California and I will never return for any reason at all. This is coming from a person who grew up in Sonoma County.


  1. I'm also transgendered and have lived in Sonoma County for almost my whole life and until I read this, I HAVE NEVER HEARD OF SONOMA COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPT. DOING ANYTHING LIKE THIS and I know the Sheriff's Dept. has their problems but "Impact" should really check the facts! I'm not saying this kind of thing didn't happen BUT NOT ONE WORD OF THIS WAS EVER REPORTED ANYWHERE IN SOONOMA COUNTY. Go Figure.

  2. Sometimes, the "good ol' boys" get favors from the local corporate newspapers...
    In Vallejo, Richmond, Oakland, alot of the times there are public examples of abuse, it is not covered in the media.
    Look at all the cop shootings against black youth! You think the SF Chronicle will do a series on hidden racism in our Bay Area Police Dept.?
    Come on! This is America, where money talks and the truth, if UNPROFITABLE, is suppressed.

    THANK YOU, IMPACT, for covering this story.