Ventura police facing sexual assault lawsuit

An officer who took his own life is at center of the case

Tracy Lehr, KEYT NewsChannel 3 Reporter, tracy@keyt.com
POSTED: 06:12 PM PST Feb 21, 2013    UPDATED: 09:48 PM PST Feb 21, 2013 
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VENTURA, Calif. -

On a Sunday in October 2011, Ventura Police Officer Rickey Payne shot himself to death while on duty in a relative's yard.

The son of a Ventura Police Sergeant and the department's employee of the month was facing an allegation of misconduct.  Now the department and the city of Ventura are facing a lawsuit that claims Payne was having sex with an underage teen, for several months before his suicide.

Attorney Ron Bamieh is representing the mother and the teen, who is now an adult.

The suit seeks $10 million in damages.