Sexual battery victim files suit against Miranda By Karen White — Staff Writer 8/7/01 A victim who testified in a Lompoc pawn broker’s criminal trial on sexual battery is now suing him in civil court. Desiree Heckaman filed the suit against Richard Miranda, 72, of Lompoc, just before the one-year deadline on July 31. Miranda has been sentenced to two years in county jail on a four-count misdemeanor conviction for sexual battery. However, he remains free on an appeal of the conviction. Heckaman testified that on Aug. 1, 2000, she entered Richard’s Pawn Shop looking for a stereo. She was the only customer in his store and she testified he grabbed her, pinned her against a counter, kissed here and rubbed various parts of her body. The victim said she was freed when another customer came into the store. She then fled the shop. Heckamon reported the incident to Lompoc police a few minutes later. She was one of four female adults to testify against Miranda during the criminal trial. She is being represented by attorney Steven R. Andrade of Santa Barbara. A case management hearing on the civil suit has been set for Nov. 26 before Santa Maria Superior Court Judge Rodney S. Melville. The civil suit charges Miranda’s conduct was so outrageous and despicable so as to be deserving of punitive damage, alleging he maliciously and with oppression committed an unlawful and unwanted sexual battery upon the victim. The suit charges Miranda “touched his body against her feminine private areas,” and during this time “intentionally deprived plaintiff of her freedom.” She is seeking wage loss, medical expenses, compensatory and punitive damages for sexual battery, negligent infliction of emotional distress and false imprisonment. :nav Source: http://www.lompocrecord.com/articles/2001/08/07/news/export485.txt

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