A Solano County Superior Court judge has dismissed all charges against Katheryn Jenks, the 56-year-old Rio Vista woman who was wrongfully arrested for allegedly misusing the 911 system and mauled by a police dog during an arrest in September.
In one of the first revelations under Senate Bill 1421, California's new police transparency law, records showed a Rio Vista police officer put distorted information into police reports to trump up the charges against Jenks. That officer, Natalie Rafferty, has since been fired, according to the city. The records revealed details of the city's internal affairs investigation into Rafferty’s conduct during and after Jenks' Sept. 30 arrest.
Jenks faced six misdemeanors for unlawful 911 calls, resisting arrest and battery on the two officers who arrested her after going to her house in response to Jenks' 911 call. Thursday, Judge Terrye Davis dismissed all charges at the request of prosecutors.
“We became aware of the case through your reporting,” Blair Goss of the law office of Douglas A. Goss, which represented Jenks pro bono, said of the story that appeared on KQED and in Bay Area News Group papers. The law firm has also filed a civil claim against the city on Jenks' behalf.
Chief Deputy District Attorney Sharon Henry said prosecutors, too, learned about the internal affairs case only by reading the reporting. She said that after prosecutors found out Jenks' arrest was the subject of an internal affairs investigation that resulted in discipline, the case couldn't go forward and charges were dismissed.