Jasmine Abuslin, a woman who said she had been sexually involved with over 30 police officers from various departments in the Oakland, California area received a settlement for $989,000 Wednesday.
“I feel happy that I can close this chapter in my life,” Abuslin said at a press conference.
The 19-year-old Abuslin, who also went by the pseudonym Celeste Guap, said she had sex with dozens of officers in exchange for money, some while underage. She initially sued for $66 million, but settled for the figure just under $1 million after it was approved by the Oakland City Council.
“The settlement occurred with no admission of liability, but obviously if you pay $1 million, you figure you got some responsibility,” Abuslin’s attorney John Burris said. “It was like a cabal that existed in the department where people were passing her around as if she were a kickball or something.”
Abuslin said she was 12 the first time she had sex for money, and claimed she had sex with three different police officers when she was 16. She admitted to sleeping with a friend of her mother, who worked as an Oakland police dispatcher. The friend was also a police officer.
“[The officer] would tell me, he [would] be like, ‘Hurry up and turn 18,’” Abuslin said. “But I talked him into it. I feel guilty because he was trying to do the right thing.”
The officers would also tell their colleagues about Abuslin, sending them to her for sex.
“I would get texts, you know,” she said. “Yeah, ‘I’m an Oakland cop, too.’ And straight up, they [would] just be like, ‘My friend blah blah blah told me about you.’”
In her initial testimony earlier this month, Abuslin accused Oakland Officer Brian Bunton of teaching her to be “a good prostitute.” Bunton denies the charges and instead claims he gave Abuslin advice to keep her off the streets. In 2016 Bunton pleaded not guilty to felony obstruction of justice and a misdemeanor prostitution charge. Authorities say Bunton’s sexual contact with Abuslin occurred after she had turned 18.
A retired police captain who admitted to paying for sex with Abuslin was also wrapped up in the scandal last November. The Contra Costa District’s Attorney’s office declined to identify the retired captain, saying he is “rather elderly,” but he was reportedly charged with a misdemeanor.
In addition to those already mentioned, charges were filed against retired Oakland Sgt. LeRoy Johnson, Oakland Officer Giovanni LoVerde, Contra Costa Deputy Ricardo Perez and Livermore Officer Daniel Black; the latter two officers have resigned.
While Oakland was at the center of the scandal, Abuslin’s attorney said his client has additional claims of misconduct by other Bay Area officers, including in San Francisco.
The teen said she is willing to testify against the other implicated officers.
The Oakland Police Department began its internal investigation in September 2015 after an Oakland officer made mention of the illicit sexual relations in a suicide note. The scandal blew up last June, however, after three police chiefs resigned back-to-back in the period of just over a week. Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf slammed the department as a “frat house.”
“It was in the best interest of the City to settle this matter quickly and fairly,” Schaaf said in a statement Wednesday. “We remain focused on rebuilding the public trust that was so damaged by this incident.”
When asked her feelings about the officers involved in the case, Abuslin replied “I don’t feel anything,” adding that she hopes people see “that I am a good person and come from a good family.”
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