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Deputy accused of targeting homeless woman in sex assault

VISTA, Calif. -- Accusers continued to describe the alleged predatory behavior of a San Diego County Sheriff's deputy in the second day of his preliminary hearing Thursday, including a woman who said he assaulted her while she was homeless in 2016.

The East County woman said Richard Timothy Fischer, 32, was in uniform when he approached her in her car, which was parked behind a bar.

The woman said that during the encounter, Fischer rifled through her belongings, pulling out her underwear, and then fondled her during a supposed "pat down." Later, the woman said he asked if there was somewhere they could meet up later.

In a period between 2015 and 2017, Fischer is accused of inappropriately touching more than a dozen women during similar encounters. Prosecutors said Thursday that the number of women who've accused the deputy of misconduct recently increased from 12 to 13.

Fischer was placed on paid administrative leave when the first allegations against him came to light last October. The six-year veteran surrendered in February, and his preliminary hearing began Wednesday.

All of the alleged victims are expected to testify during the hearing, which will likely last a full week. When it's over, a judge will determine whether enough evidence was presented to order Fischer to stand trial.