SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office has fired a deputy who responded to a call to help a suicidal 21-year-old woman and later sent her a photo of his genitals and paid her for a pornographic video.
The county also this year paid $40,000 to settle a lawsuit the woman filed against the county regarding the incident, county spokeswoman Janna Haynes said.
In July 2022, then-deputy Patrick Walker, 40 at the time, responded to a call for service made by the friends of a woman who was 21 at the time, according to Sheriff’s Office internal affairs documents released last week. The friends said she had gone missing and intended to commit suicide by overdosing on cocaine and fentanyl. In an attempt to help her, Walker used his work cell to text the woman, the deputies located her and checked her into the hospital, where she stayed for three days on a mental health hold, the documents state.
About a week after the initial call, Walker texted the woman to check on her well being, the documents state. She responded, and they started texting. She asked if he was married, and when he said yes, she said his wife was a “lucky woman.”
Walker then made it clear he wanted to have sex with her, the documents state, and the two agreed he would pay her $100 for each nude photo. He sent her a photo of his genitals, then she sent him a pornographic video. Walker did not pay her for it, then blocked her on Facebook messenger. She then texted his work phone asking for money, and he sent her $400, the documents state.
The woman’s stepfather later called the Sheriff’s Office to file a complaint alleging Walker was using his authority to take advantage of the woman, who had just suffered a mental health crisis, had used illegal drugs, and had been sexually abused in the past.
“The evidence in this case is undisputed,” Chief Deputy Matt Peterson wrote in an internal memo in November 2022. “Deputy Walker overtly expressed his sexual desires ... via digital messages. He ultimately paid $400 for a nude video of herself. Deputy Walker acknowledged his behavior was wrong and ‘brought shame to this department.’ Deputy Walker clearly understood that his conduct was unacceptable, as indicated by his attempts to conceal his conversations by transitioning them from his work phone to Facebook Messenger and then by deleting all the messages from his devices.
“(The woman) experienced a mental health crisis, which we helped her with, but was subsequently victimized by Deputy Walker based on his sexual desires.”
The woman told investigators she did not want Walker to get in trouble but did not think he should be allowed to respond to mental health calls anymore.
Walker violated the Sheriff’s Office general orders regarding conflicting relationships, social media, and use of county cellphones. The General Orders state: “To avoid actual or perceived conflicts of interest, members of this department shall refrain from developing or maintaining personal or business relationships with victims, witnesses or other individuals during the course or as a direct result of any official contact.”
Walker did not respond to an email seeking comment. During an interview with investigators, he said, “in retrospect, he believed he took advantage of situation for his own sexual gratification. He said that despite their age difference, how they met, and her mental illness, that was not his intent at the time,” the documents state.
The Sheriff’s Office posted the documents online after an attorney for The Sacramento Bee sent the office a letter demanding the office post its disciplinary documents to its website more quickly, in order to comply with Senate Bill 1421.
Online records maintained by Transparent California show Walker earned $176,608 in pay last year. He was a Sheriff’s Office employee for 18 years, including a decade on patrol, the documents state.
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