COVINGTON, Ky. (CN) - A woman says that after she was tied up and raped, the Erlanger Police Department falsely accused her of lying about it and threw her in jail, though a lab report confirmed the sexual assault.
C.J.L. sued the City of Erlanger, its Police Department and seven Erlanger police officers, in Federal Court.
She says she "notified the Erlanger Police Department via a 911 call that she had been assaulted and raped in her apartment" in Crescent Spring, Ky., on July 9, 2010.
The complaint states: "Officers responding to the scene discovered plaintiff lying nude on her back with her feet and hands tied to the four corners of her bed. A plastic bag covered her head. Officers also noted the presence of a large contusion on the side of plaintiff's head. Plaintiff truthfully advised investigators that she had been in the shower when an unknown assailant wearing a ski mask struck her twice on the head with a heavy object, dragged her to her bed, tied her down and raped her. After her assailant left the scene, plaintiff was able to work her cell phone out from under her pillow and to dial 911."
C.J.L says officers collected evidence and took her to a hospital, where more evidence was taken from her body using a "Sexual Assault Collection Kit." Two weeks later, she says, a lab report "confirmed the presence of seminal fluid on both the internal and external genital swabs" and that the "evidence was then scheduled to undergo DNA testing."
Yet, "Despite the existence of forensic evidence to the contrary, Erlanger Police Department investigators arbitrarily decided that plaintiff had fabricated the account of the rape," the woman says.
The complaint continues: "A few days after the attack, Detective [Kevin] Gilpin of the Erlanger Police Department contacted plaintiff's psychiatrist, Dr. Stephanie Z. Hall, and expressed suspicion that plaintiff had invented the story in an attempt to attract attention. Dr. Hall told him that she believed plaintiff was telling the truth and that plaintiff's unusual responses to some questions could be attributed to dissociation caused by her history of emotional trauma. Nevertheless, Detective Klare eventually advised the KSP lab that DNA analysis of the evidence was no longer necessary and the lab subsequently performed no further analysis, pursuant to Detective Klare's direction."
C.J.L. says that after she met with Det. Klare on August 10, 2010, Assistant Kenton County Attorney Amy Burke issued a warrant for her arrest, on a charge of falsely reporting the incident. She was arrested eight days later, and held at the Kenton County Jail for two days without being providing her prescribed medication.
"On August 23, 2010, plaintiff made a suicide attempt, an event her psychiatrist later attributed to the withholding of medication and the trauma of incarceration," according to the complaint.
While in jail, she says, she was "clothed only in a cloth covering that left her partially exposed to other inmates and jail employees," on one day, and she "was subjected to sexual taunts and remarks from at least one jail employee."
C.J.L. says the criminal charge against her was dismissed on May 31 this year, with the prosecutor "acknowledging that it would be very difficult to prove that plaintiff had not been raped."
C.J.L. seeks punitive damages for unlawful arrest, unlawful detention and confinement, false arrest, false imprisonment, assault, battery, malicious abuse of process, malicious prosecution, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent infliction of emotional distress, defamation and negligence.
She is represented by Melissa Gruner with Gruner & Simms of Louisville.