A second former Dunwoody police officer has filed suit against former Lt. Fidel Espinoza for sexual harassment allegations. 

Former Officer Bryan Castellanos filed a lawsuit against Espinoza on Feb. 17. In 2020, multiple officers accused Espinoza of sexual harassment, including claims he demanded sexual favors for work benefits and solicited nude photos. Espinoza resigned amid an internal investigation, and DPD Chief Billy Grogan later issued a report that admitted Espinoza did send improper, sexual messages to officers and employees, but claimed he did not harass or coerce them.

Dunwoody Police Lt. Fidel Espinoza.

This is the second lawsuit against the former lieutenant, the first coming from former Officer Roger Halstead in 2020.  According to court documents, Halstead’s suit was dismissed in federal court and is now being appealed. As of Feb. 23, court documents say the appeal has been dismissed due to the plaintiff’s lawyer’s failure to file an appellant’s brief by a certain date.

In his complaint, Castellanos alleges that as early as 2017, Espinoza sent him sexually explicit text messages and requested nude photos. He also alleges that Espinoza requested sexual favors from him and took a photo of Castellanos while he was using the bathroom. Leila Castellanos, who is also included in the suit, also claims that Espinoza texted her and asked inappropriate questions regarding her relationship with her husband. 

“Defendant Espinoza intentionally, maliciously, wantonly and in gross and reckless disregard for Plaintiff’s health and safety, engaged in extreme and outrageous conduct when he subjected Plaintiffs to embarrassment, humiliation, degradation, and ridicule by sexually harassing them, thereby causing Plaintiffs to suffer extreme emotional distress, mental anguish, humiliation, and other indignities,” reads the complaint.  

The lawsuit also named the city of Dunwoody, the Dunwoody Police Foundation, the Dunwoody Police Department, and the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners as defendants. A city spokesperson said the city has no comment at this time. 

Castellanos’ lawyer did not return a request for comment. 

Update: This article has been updated with more information about Roger Halstead’s suit against the city.

Update: this article has been updated with more detailed information regarding Halstead’s appeal.

Sammie Purcell

Sammie Purcell is a staff writer for Reporter Newspapers.