Oakland City Council approves nearly $1M settlement with teen at center of sex scandal

OAKLAND (KTVU) -- The Oakland City Council approved a nearly $1 million settlement late Tuesday  night in the sex scandal case involving an underage prostitute and Oakland police officers.

This settlement is for the civil claim against the city, while Alameda County's district attorney handles the criminal case that threw the entire city and Oakland police department into turmoil and led to the ouster of officers and the police chief.

The city's settlement of $989,000 comes as Oakland struggles to regain the community's trust and faith in the police department.

Jasmine Abuslin, 19, the daughter of a police dispatcher, says she was a former teen prostitute who went by the name Celeste Guap.She initially said she'd had sex with as many as 30 Bay Area law enforcement officers. She says instead of helping her, they exploited her, some while she was 16 and still a minor.

Abuslin claimed that the Oakland police chief at the time Sean Whent knew about the abuse and did nothing. Whent later resigned and the city removed several police officers, promising reform.

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Abuslin's attorney John Burris says the claim originally was filed for $66 million dollars by Abuslin's previous legal team. He says after a close examination of the evidence and extensive negotiations, he recommends she take the settlement.

"She can put this behind her because it was quite an emotional and traumatic event to be involved with the Oakland Police officers," said Burris.

Abuslin was sent to a Florida rehab facility in August 2016) for heroin addiction, but returned to testify in court.

"For them to commit those actions are absolutely irresponsible and they shoudl be paying for that action and not the city taxpayers," said Noel GalloOakland City Council member.

"Criminal activity happened under the watch of the city of Oakland and whatever Jasmine gets, more power to her. Yeah, the taxpayers have to pay for that and that's why I think it's really important we have proper oversight," said Leigh Davenport, a protestor with the Anti- Police Terror Project who was part of a group calling for less funding for the Oakland Police Department.

Burris says there are still four other claims of exploitation by officers in Richmond, Livermore, San Francisco, and Alameda County.

The Oakland city attorney noted there are felony charges against current and former Oakland police officers for sex with a minor, obstruction of justice and prostitution.

"This is important to bring closure to this case against Oakland and move on to the next," said Burris.

Council member Gallo says Abuslin will be participating in an effort Friday called Code Red to try and help rescue young men and women in prostitution and victims of human trafficking.

 

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