Doe 1 speaks out, files complaint
One of the Jane Does involved in the trial of former Blue Lake Police Chief David Gundersen filed a citizen complaint against the Humboldt County Sheriff’s and District Attorney’s offices Wednesday.
The complaint, authored by Gundersen’s wife (Doe 1), alleges that the HCSO and District Attorney’s Office violated her civil rights, falsely imprisoned her on Feb. 8, coerced a statement out of her that day and conspired to imprison Gundersen.
“There’s a whole other side to this story,” Doe 1 said in an interview Wednesday. “I just thought I need to get this out.”
Gundersen faces two trials for allegations pertaining to two Jane Does. In all, he faces 31 charges, including 24 counts of spousal rape.
He pleaded not guilty to all charges and sits in the Humboldt County jail on a $1.25 million bail.
As a result of Humboldt County Superior Court Judge Bruce Watson’s decision to allow testimony from Gundersen’s ex-wife Monday, and other compounding events since Feb. 8, Doe 1 said she felt the truth needed to be told.
“I’m the only person who can do that,” she said, “because David can’t be heard.”
In the four-page complaint sent to the Humboldt County Grand Jury and both the California and U.S. Attorney General’s Office, Doe 1 wrote how a custody battle turned into a conspiracy against her husband.
“I felt I was entrapped and coerced,” she said. “I think someone else should review this.”
Gundersen’s ex-wife couldn’t be reached for comment before deadline.
Much of the complaint described in detail what Doe 1 had testified during Gundersen’s preliminary hearing in April, which included how she “felt coerced” into giving statements about non-consensual sex by her husband during a seven-hour interview on Feb. 8 that she couldn’t walk away from.
The District Attorney’s Office had to subpoena Doe 1 to the stand, as she had no intention on testifying.
Doe 1 added in the complaint that she answered questions “sarcastically,” such as telling the three HCSO investigators interviewing her that Gundersen had non-consensual sex with her 365 times when asked if he ever did.
During the preliminary hearing, Doe 1 testified that Gundersen had non-consensual sex with her at least once a month between 2005 and 2007.
As Doe 1 testified before, she had no intention on pressing any charges against Gundersen and merely wanted to talk about police assistance if anything got out of control between the two.
Doe 1 also wrote about events leading up to that encounter with law enforcement.
Sometime in December 2001, Doe 1 wrote that Gundersen’s ex-wife told her that he had raped her and it would happen to her as well.
Events happened in the summer of 2007, Doe 1 wrote, moved Gundersen to file for full custody of his children. At that point, Gundersen’s ex-wife hired Joan Gallegos, wife of Humboldt County District Attorney Paul Gallegos, to represent her in the family matter.
By the time Jan. 28 rolled around, Doe 1 wrote she wanted a separation with Gundersen.
On that day, Doe 1 wrote that Gundersen’s ex-wife told her she could use Paul Gallegos’ willingness to prosecute Gundersen for allegedly raping her in the past as a way to get rid of Gundersen — this after Joan Gallegos allegedly talked with him about it.
“I believe this was a conspiracy between (Paul Gallegos), his wife and (Gundersen’s ex-wife) in an attempt for (Gundersen’s ex-wife) to gain full custody of the kids,” she wrote. “Her plan worked.”
When contacted, Paul Gallegos said he wouldn’t comment on the contents of the complaint, because he felt it would be inappropriate to do so at this point.
Joan Gallegos, who stopped representing Gundersen’s ex-wife after he was arrested, said she had nothing to gain from asking her husband to prosecute Gundersen and in the process lose a client.
“I would never make those kinds of assertions to a client, period,” she said. “I avoid conflicts, I don’t look for them.”
Complaint aside, Doe 1 said it’s been emotionally difficult these past few months since Gundersen’s arrest.
“It’s been really hard on our family,” she said.
After being placed on administrative leave from the Blue Lake Police Department, she resigned following the conclusion of a lawsuit settlement. Gundersen’s contract was terminated, along with the entire department.
An emergency protective order has also prevented her from talking to Gundersen, especially about their homes in foreclosure, which she said is cruel.
With the jury selection process moving forward in Gundersen’s trial and this complaint in the mail, Doe 1 said she doesn’t know what the next step is.
“I have faith that this is all going to work out,” she said.
(John C. Osborn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at 707-269-7445.)
By JOHN C. OSBORN , The Eureka Reporter
Published: Jul 30 2008, 11:39 PM