Seven women who are accusing former Windsor Mayor Dominic Foppoli of sexual assault have filed a joint lawsuit against him in the Superior Court of Sonoma County.
In the court document filed on Monday, the women, named only as “Jane Does,” allege that Foppoli is a “sexual predator” who “used his power, connections and alcohol to prey on women in Sonoma County.” The women further allege that he used his power to silence them through threats of ruining their careers, their businesses, their families and their reputations. They also allege that Foppoli worked with “his agents” to silence them.
Foppoli has maintained previously that any sexual encounters were consensual. He could not be reached for comment on the suit. Foppoli’s attorney did not immediately respond Wednesday to a request for comment.
The allegations in the suit include sexual assault and battery, interfering with a person’s civil rights by force or threat of violence, acts of violence or threats of violence based on a person’s gender, unfair competition, negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, domestic violence, defamation and negligent and intentional interference with prospective economic advantage.
The allegations of all seven plaintiffs outlined in the suit are as follows:
Jane Doe #1 alleges that she had a relationship with Foppoli beginning in 2001 but that he sexually assaulted her “dozens” of times, even handcuffing her without her consent and penetrating her with grapes as she “struggled, cried, and begged him to stop.”
Jane Doe #1 said she came forward about the incidents after the San Francisco Chronicle reported on other alleged assaults by Foppoli, saying that she was young at the time and was led to believe by him that what occurred was part of a normal consensual sexual relationship.
Jane Doe #2 alleges she met Foppoli after her 18th birthday when she became an employee on his campaign and began a relationship with him in 2003. Doe #2 alleges that she told Foppoli that she was waiting to have sex until after she was married but that he “ignored her boundaries” and committed unwanted sexual acts upon her.
On New Year’s Eve in 2003, the plaintiff alleges that Foppoli gave her alcohol, though she had never drank before. She became very intoxicated and alleges that Foppoli raped her and then after she passed out, raped her again.
Jane Doe #2 also alleges that due to her young age and the fact that they were dating, she was not fully aware that what she alleged happened to her was sexual assault at the time.
Jane Doe #3 says she met Foppoli at a dance class in 2006 when she was 21 years old. They struck up a friendship and went out dancing in the East Bay, where she drank alcohol and became intoxicated. She and Foppoli shared a taxi ride home and she alleges that she thought the taxi was taking her to her house but instead it arrived at Foppoli’s residence. She alleges in the complaint that he offered to let her stay at his place and since she had been drinking, she agreed. Doe #3 alleges that Foppoli told her that she could sleep in his bed and he would take the couch, but she soon found him in the bed, where he allegedly began forcing himself upon her and sexually assaulted her. Doe #3 alleges that she wrestled herself away from him and locked herself in the bathroom. She said she called a friend to come and pick her up and then raced out of the house.
Jane Doe #4 said she knew Foppoli through the child advocacy organization Active 20-30. The two attended an Active 20-30 conference in Reno in 2012, she said. Doe #4 became intoxicated at the event and she alleges that her friend asked Foppoli to help her up to her room. Instead, she said, they arrived at Foppoli’s hotel room, where he reportedly invited her in for a glass of wine from “his winery.” Foppoli’s family owns the Christopher Creek Winery, which is also named in the suit.
After Jane Doe #4 began to sip her wine, she alleges she began to feel “drugged” and she became woozy and incapacitated. Doe #4 alleges she came-to on her knees and topless, with Foppoli allegedly sexually assaulting her orally.
The plaintiff alleges that she told representatives of Active 20-30 what had occurred and that the organization told her they would investigate the allegations, but that they did not. Active 20-30 is named as a defendant in the suit. The organization said it was not commenting on the suit at this time and had not yet been served with the lawsuit as of Wednesday.
Jane Doe #5 also associated with the organization Active 20-30 and the defendant. She alleges that after drinking a lot of wine in a hot tub at an Active 20-30 event in 2016, Foppoli ripped off her bikini top and attempted to pull her onto his lap. Doe #5 said she halted all associations with Active 20-30 after the alleged event.
Accuser #6 alleges that she was drugged by Foppoli after visiting the Christopher Creek Winery in 2019. In her altered state, the plaintiff alleges that the defendant offered to give her a ride in his Tesla, which she consented to. Jane Doe #6 alleges that she went in and out of consciousness during the ride. She alleges that Foppoli drove her to a residence and then sexually assaulted her as she faded in and out of consciousness.
Jane Doe #7 also alleges that Foppoli put a drugging agent in her drink. The two were colleagues and were at an event at the Christopher Creek Winery in February of 2020 when she claims she began feeling woozy and incapacitated. Doe #7 said that Foppoli and another man drove her home, but that Foppoli took her inside and allegedly sexually assaulted her as she faded in and out of consciousness. The plaintiff alleges that when she regained consciousness, she was naked, in pain, and bleeding from her rectum.
In August of 2020, Jane Doe #7 alleges that she was again drugged at a Christopher Creek Winery event and came-to to find an associate of Foppoli sexually assaulting her orally. She further alleges that the next day, Foppoli told her that he had a video of the assault and “told her she was lucky he had control of the video.” Doe #7 alleges that the video was made to “extort her later for a political advantage” and to “keep her quiet” about the alleged February assault.
After other alleged victims of Foppoli came forward, so too did Jane Doe #7. She alleges that after she spoke out about her alleged assaults, Foppoli threatened to release the video if she did not recant her statement. Jane Doe #7 then went to the police, she said, resulting in a “swift and punishing” retaliation from Foppoli, who she alleges attempted to tarnish her reputation and political aspirations.
Other plaintiffs in the suit include “Jane Roes 8-100.” The suit also names defendants “Moes 1-50 inclusive.” (We believe that “Moes” is an alternate to “Does,” so as to differentiate between all of the unnamed plaintiffs and defendants. An inquiry about this to the plaintiffs’ attorney was not returned by press time.)
The Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office recused itself from prosecuting Foppoli since one of his accusers was an employee of the office. An investigation into Foppoli was turned over to California Attorney General Rob Bonta in March.