ROSEVILLE, CA - The city of Roseville has settled a lawsuit accusing a former police officer of stalking and harassing a married Roseville woman while he was on duty and in full uniform.
The lawsuit, filed in July, accuses former Roseville police officer Tom Cabral of using his authority to stalk a woman he was sexually obsessed with.
Court documents describe the story from the perspective of plaintiffs Victoria Guthrie and her husband Matthew Tullgren. They claim Cabral committed a series of major ethical violations while attempting to establish a sexual relationship with Guthrie. When she filed a complaint with the department, the couple said Roseville police officers ransacked their apartment.
Guthrie and Tullgren also allege the Roseville Police Department encouraged Cabral to resign before their investigation wrapped up, which would keep a black mark off his record.
Roseville Police Department would not provide comment for the story and the plaintiffs are barred from discussing the case as part of the settlement deal.
What follows is Guthrie's and Tullgren's account of what happened as it is laid out in the lawsuit:
Guthrie first came into contact with Cabral in October, 2012, while she was at a shopping center with her husband. While Guthrie was waiting in the car for her husband to come out of a store, she noticed Cabral staring at her from his patrol car.
Her husband returned to the car moments later, but Cabral used his patrol car to block them in, preventing them from leaving the parking lot. Cabral said their car matched the description of a car used in a series of nearby robberies.
At some point during the conversation, Cabral learned that Tullgren was on misdemeanor searchable probation, meaning he could be searched by law enforcement at any time. Cabral searched the car and found some prescription medication that Tullgren didn't have a written prescription for, and then arrested Tullgren for possessing the medication.
Before leaving the parking lot, Cabral threatened to arrest Guthrie unless she agreed to become his confidential informant for one of his investigations. She agreed and Cabral told her she was free to leave.
Guthrie heard from Cabral again that very evening. At 8 p.m., she got a call saying Cabral was coming to her apartment to deliver a message from her husband. Guthrie, weary of Cabral's intentions, convinced him to meet her at a nearby church parking lot instead.
When Cabral showed up, in full uniform and driving his patrol car, he directed her to the church's deserted back parking lot. Cabral, it turns out, never did deliver a message from her husband. Instead, he questioned why she was with "someone like" her husband and that a pretty girl like her could get plenty of guys that would take care of her.
Cabral then reiterated Guthrie would be his informant, sternly warning her to answer his calls and that "she better not disappear" on him. Cabral asked her to call him if she had any information about a suspected drug dealer, and then told her to keep their meeting from her husband.
On Oct. 17, Guthrie sent Cabral a text message about the suspected drug dealer he was investigating. Guthrie thought that Cabral would leave her alone once he got the information he was looking for. She was wrong.
The following evening, Cabral called Guthrie again, asking if her husband was around. By that time, Tullgren was out of jail, but was in class and not with Guthrie. Cabral asked how her day was going and tried to "initiate playful banter with Guthrie." At no point did he ask about the drug dealer he was supposedly looking into.
Just two days later, Cabral called and again asked if her husband was there. When she said no, Cabral said they should "hang out." Guthrie wanted to turn down his advances without provoking him, so she came up with an excuse, saying she couldn't meet him because of her suspended driver's license. Cabral told her "we can figure something out," but Guthrie said it wouldn't work out. Again, Cabral did not ask about the drug dealer.
Cabral's advances continued the following night, when he sent Guthrie another text message at 10 p.m. She did not respond.
Two days later, on Oct. 22, Cabral made another late night phone call to Guthrie, again asking if her husband was there. Guthrie told Cabral that her husband was home, but he continued the conversation anyway. Cabral told Guthrie he was "disappointed" that she had not called him to hang out. He then gave her his personal cell phone number and asked if they could meet when he got off work at 1:30 a.m.
At this point Guthrie was extremely concerned about Cabral's "flirtatious tone and manner" and came up with another excuse, saying she didn't have a ride. Cabral told her he would pick her up and that they could go to his place. Guthrie again told him she couldn't get out of the house.
On Oct. 25, around 5:30 p.m., Cabral called again, asking what she was doing. Guthrie said she was with her mom at AAA getting a flat tire fixed. A short time later, Cabral showed up at their location in his patrol car. He beckoned Guthrie to his car and again said he wanted to hang out with her. He got into some personal details of his life, saying he had a 2-year-old son and that he didn't get along with his ex-girlfriend. He also told Guthrie he had transferred from the San Jose Police Department about a year ago and that he lived with roommates in a house in Lincoln.
Just an hour after that, Cabral sent Guthrie another text message, saying that he saw her drive her car into an apartment complex parking lot. He asked where she was going and who she was going to see and told her to come outside and talk to him. When Guthrie didn't respond to the text message, he sent another one telling her to "go home."
Guthrie became even more upset after this encounter, believing that Cabral had been following her.
Cabral sent a text message the next day saying, "hey, what's up?" Guthrie did not respond.
The following week, on Nov. 2, Cabral made his intentions clear.
Guthrie received a call from Cabral that afternoon while she was at the bank. Cabral asked for the bank's specific location, saying he wanted to come see her. Guthrie was worried Cabral might attempt to follow her again, so she made up an excuse, saying she was in a hurry and didn't look pretty. Cabral said she "always looked pretty."
Guthrie asked Cabral what his intentions were with her.
"I think you know my intentions," Cabral responded.
Guthrie said that she didn't know his true intentions.
Cabral told her that he just wanted to have fun in a friendship with benefits, a term commonly used to describe two friends with a casual sexual relationship.
He told her "the ball was in her court" and asked her to hang out the next night or the night after. Guthrie made up an excuse, saying she had to pick her husband up from class. The excuse didn't deter Cabral, however, who said he could pick her up afterwards.
Guthrie told him her phone was dying and she had to go. Cabral asked her to call him back, which she didn't. At no point during the conversation did he mention anything about her being an informant or ask for more information regarding the supposed drug dealer he was investigating.
The complaint goes on to say, "it was clear to Guthrie that Cabral was never really conducting any investigation. Instead, Cabral abused his authority as a peace officer, using an informant ruse, to force Guthrie to have unwanted contact with him so that he could pursue his sexual interest in her."
Cabral's calls and texts got more frequent and more explicit as the month went on, until Guthrie filed a formal citizen's complaint against Cabral on Nov. 19.
Roseville Police Chief Daniel Hahn acknowledged receipt of the complaint the next day and Guthrie provided a recorded statement detailing Cabral's harassment.
However, the situation intensified on Dec. 9, when unknown Roseville police officers ransacked the apartment Guthrie shared with her husband while they weren't home. Their apartment manager said Roseville officers showed up, saying they needed to conduct a welfare check. They threatened to kick the door down if the manager didn't open it for them.
When Guthrie called the Roseville police watch commander later that day, she got a different story.
She was told officers were doing a probation search because Tullgren was on misdemeanor searchable probation. This was the first time Roseville police officers had ever conducted a probation search of Tullgren.
The complaint reads, "it was clear from the contradictory descriptions of why the search was conducted that the reasons for the search were pre-textual, and the search was not for a legitimate purpose. The ransacking of the apartment was, instead, retaliation and harassment against Guthrie for submitting a citizen's complaint against Cabral."
On Dec. 21, Guthrie was notified the investigation into Cabral has been completed and was forwarded to a Roseville police captain for review.
Cabral resigned from the Roseville Police Department just three weeks later, which was the only piece of information Roseville police would confirm for this story.
Three days after Cabral's resignation, on Jan. 14, Guthrie was advised that the investigation into Cabral was discontinued with "no findings" because of Cabral's resignation.
The complaint goes on to say, "Cabral resigned because he had in fact engaged in the misconduct alleged by her, and because he was advised by the Roseville Police Department to resign in order to salvage his law enforcement career."
That's where the allegations in the complaint end.
On May 3, the Placer County District Attorney's Office dismissed the charges against Tullgren stemming from his Oct. 14 arrest, according to Guthrie's attorney Johnny Griffin III.
While the Roseville Police Department would not comment on this story, court documents show they settled the case on Aug. 16. As a result, Guthrie, Tullgren and their attorney are prohibited from discussing the case with us.
The Roseville Police Officer's Association said they began the process of finding Cabral an attorney, but it was no longer necessary after he resigned and the investigation was dropped.
Efforts to reach Cabral at his Lincoln home were unsuccessful.
Griffin III also represented a relative of Matthew Tullgren in a 2004 lawsuit against the Roseville Police Department. Lisa Marie Tullgren accused former Roseville police officer David Allen Wachendorfer of stalking and sexually harassing her while he was on duty. The case ended with Lisa Tullgren receiving a six-figure settlement from the city and Wachendorfer losing his job.
By Michael Bott, @TweetBott10