Redding police officer sued for sexual assault, excessive force at a DUI stop

Officer Jacob Provencio is accused by multiple women of sexual assault – pat down searches and brutality

By: Mitchell Ross Aug 29, 2022 

REDDING, Calif. – A Redding police officer and the City of Redding have been sued for sexual assault and excessive force stemming from a DUI arrest in August 2020.

Jacob Provencio

The lawsuit filing from the Law Offices of Jerry L. Steering documents the incident of a DUI stop on Aug. 6, 2020. The case against Redding and Officer Jacob Provencio alleges that Provencio sexually assaulted and used excessive force on a woman during an arrest and proceeded to text and call the woman after her release from the Shasta County Jail. 

According to the lawsuit filing, numerous complaints of sexual assault had been made against Provencio and the Redding Police Department. 

Lawsuit filing documents say the incident occurred when a woman left an establishment called the Hen House, located at 2621 Harnell Ave. The woman left the bar in her vehicle and began to drive down Shasta View Drive, where Provencio pulled her over in the rear of a parking lot attached to the Holiday Market at 2455 Hartnell Ave.  

The lawsuit filing states Provencio asked the woman if she knew why she had been pulled over, to which she responded no. After running the woman’s driver’s license and DMV documents, Provencio asked her to exit the vehicle. Following her exit from the car, Provencio began to search McClelland. 

The lawsuit filing alleges Provencio began to frisk the woman in a sexually assaultive manner, including touching her private areas in a slow up and down motion. Records say that woman asked Provencio to be searched by a female officer, to which the document states he ignored the request. 

Following multiple searches and a field sobriety test, the woman was placed into the back of the squad car with aggressive force. The lawsuit filing alleges the manner Provencio handcuffed and put the woman in the back of the car left her with a ruptured blood vessel in her wrist and a bruised ribcage. 

According to the lawsuit filing, the woman pleaded with Provencio not to be arrested, to which he and another officer replied, “what are you going to do for me?” The lawsuit filing alleges the officers were insinuating sexual favors. She responded, “I’m going to let you take me to jail.” 

The woman was released the following day and has not been charged with a DUI as of this report, according to the lawsuit filing. Five days after her arrest, the woman was contacted by Provencio via text message, asking her how she was doing. 

The lawsuit filing says Sergeant Chris Smyrnos requested a copy of the text message and voicemail left by Provencio and notified the woman that Sergeant Brian Torum would be handling an internal affairs investigation of her complaint against Provencio. 

The lawsuit filing states that on May 16, 2022, Chief of Police Bill Schueller informed her of the findings in their investigation of Officer Provencio’s conduct during the DUI top: 

  • Conduct unbecoming of a member of the department #1: Not Sustained 
  • Conduct unbecoming of a member of the department #2: Sustained 
  • Improper procedure when searching a person of the opposite sex: Sustained
  • Violation of departmental safety standards or safe working practices: Sustained

The lawsuit filing states they are asking for $5 million in compensation.

Additionally, the lawsuit filing states the woman was contacted by a private investigator looking into other incidents involving Provencio.

As of this report, Provencio has not been criminally charged.