Reno police investigation into 2012 allegation against Dominic Foppoli unlikely to result in charges, department says

A complaint was filed in February by a woman who said the former Windsor mayor sexually assaulted her 10 years ago in a casino hotel room. Dominic Foppoli denied the charges.|

More than a decade after a woman says she was sexually assaulted by former Windsor Mayor Dominic Foppoli in a Nevada casino hotel room, she filed a police report with the Reno Police Department that remains an active investigation today.

The woman, identified as Jane Doe 4 in a related civil lawsuit that outlines her allegations against Foppoli along with those of six other women, told The Press Democrat this week she had previously thought the Nevada statute of limitations on the 2012 incident had long expired.

However, in February, she learned Nevada’s statute had changed to give victims of sex crimes 20 years to report an incident. She then traveled that month to Reno to file a police report, she said.

The Reno report, which has not been previously disclosed, marks the fourth known criminal investigation, in a fourth state, into Foppoli. The allegations against him involve sexual assault or rape, but none so far have resulted in criminal charges.

A police spokesperson says charges in the Reno case are unlikely, though the department also maintains it is an active investigation. But a prosecutor’s memo raises questions about the aggressiveness of the police department’s work, at least in early stages of the investigation.

Foppoli continues to deny any criminal wrongdoing. According to court records and social media, he appears to be living in Italy.

“I welcome any and all investigations in the hopes that they will finish quickly and continue to show the public that I’m completely innocent and that this entire ordeal has been an incredible unwarranted injustice against my family, my businesses and me,” Foppoli wrote in a statement to The Press Democrat this week.

As many as 14 women have publicly accused Foppoli of sexual assault, rape and sexual harassment.

California Attorney General Rob Bonta has had the results of a Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office investigation into multiple sexual assault allegations against Foppoli since March but has yet to announce a decision on whether to pursue charges.

While the investigations in other states appear to involve one accuser each, the California case involves an unknown number of women.

A spokesperson for the Attorney General’s office had no update Tuesday.

Detectives in Palm Beach, Florida, suspended an investigation into allegations from reality television star Farrah Abraham in January because of “insufficient evidence.” Foppoli did not agree to Florida detectives’ interview requests but instead had an attorney respond.

A Montana investigation also closed without charges.

A spokesperson for the Reno Police Department said their investigation is likely to close without charges, as well.

“It doesn’t seem the investigation is going to conclude in anything,” Community Engagement Officer Stephen Greenlee said in a Nov. 23 text message to The Press Democrat.

Greenlee and other department personnel did not respond this week to multiple voicemails and emails seeking further elaboration on the investigation. The department could not comment on an active investigation, Deputy Chief Zachary Thew said Tuesday.

Police sought to move the case to prosecutors in April and were admonished by a Washoe County deputy district attorney, who wrote that detectives had not done even minimal investigation before seeking to hand off the file.

According to a memo prosecutors provided to The Press Democrat, detectives sought a charging decision but had not followed up on leads given by the woman who filed the complaint.

“There is presently no independent evidence having the tendency to support the complaining witness’s statement, or documentation of Mr. Foppoli’s account or recollection of the events surrounding the … allegations of assault,” Deputy District Attorney Darcy Cameron wrote to Detective Janira Varty in the memo.

At that point, detectives had not reached out to any potential witnesses in the case, though one person confirmed pieces of Jane Doe 4’s account to San Francisco Chronicle reporters, and three others told the newspaper the woman told them about the assault at various points.

“No information regarding what other persons attending the event did or did not observe has been documented,” Cameron wrote in her memo to the Reno detective. Nor had the detective interviewed Foppoli’s hotel roommate, who Jane Doe 4 said was present during the alleged assault.

“From the witness statement provided, it appears there was another person present in the hotel room before, during, and after the assault occurred,” Cameron wrote, but again, “no information regarding what this person did or did not observe has been documented.”

Detectives also failed to document the pattern of behavior put forth by Foppoli’s other accusers, Cameron wrote.

It’s unclear what actions detectives have taken since April. The woman who filed the complaint said she had provided police with the names of witnesses and that some of them told her they had been contacted by detectives.

Foppoli declined to say whether he’d spoken to Reno detectives.

The Nevada investigation centers on a June 2012 incident at a Reno event hosted by Active 20-30, a national civic organization in which Foppoli played a prominent role in the Santa Rosa chapter. The Santa Rosa chapter of the club and Foppoli’s Christopher Creek Winery are also named in the civil suit against the former mayor filed by the seven women in Sonoma County Superior Court.

The Reno incident was one of the four allegations first reported by the San Francisco Chronicle, which set off a wave of accusations and ultimately Foppoli’s downfall.

While the woman provided her name to the Chronicle for its initial report, she is named as Jane Doe 4 in the civil lawsuit and has not given The Press Democrat permission to publish her name. The Press Democrat does not routinely identify victims of sexual assault.

The woman knew Foppoli through Active 20-30, and the two were both in Reno for the charity’s national convention in June 2012, according to the lawsuit.

The woman previously told the Chronicle she became intoxicated, leading a friend to ask Foppoli to walk her back to her hotel room. Foppoli instead took her to his room, she alleged, where he gave her more alcohol from an unmarked bottle he said came from his winery.

She believed the drink was drugged, according to the lawsuit, and became “incapacitated and woozy.” When she came to, she was topless and on her knees in the hotel room bathroom and Foppoli was “standing over her forcing her to perform oral copulation.”

The woman told The Press Democrat she believed her case was outside Nevada’s statute of limitations for sex crimes and did not file a police report. But in February, she heard on a podcast how victims of comedian Bill Cosby, who has been accused of sexual crimes by as many as 60 women, had lobbied to change statute of limitations in several states.

Among them was Nevada, where in 2015, Cosby’s victims lobbied for a bill that changed a law requiring someone to file a police report within four years of an incident of rape or sexual assault. With the change, a victim had 20 years.

“I’m incredibly grateful for how forward thinking these women were to change things for others,” the woman said.

She said she understood a 10-year-old case was difficult to investigate but still believed there were routes to hold Foppoli accountable through the criminal justice system.

“I don’t want to be disappointed in the police unless I have to be,” she said. “I want to hope for the best.”

You can reach Staff Writer Andrew Graham at 707-526-8667 or On Twitter @AndrewGraham88

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