This week, a couple stories that should cause anyone critically thinking to see that those wearing badges aren’t always operating with the best intentions.
Ex-Norfolk cop must pay $500K in rape lawsuit
A jury has ordered a former police officer to pay $500,000 in damages to a woman who claimed he raped her while answering her 911 call for help.
Former Officer Jason M. New did not show up for his civil trial last month.
A jury awarded plaintiff Angela L. Allen $250,000 in compensatory damages, $250,000 in punitive damages and additional costs of $985.50, according to a May 20 court order.
Circuit Judge John R. Doyle III previously found that New was liable for rape and sexual assault of Allen, according to court records.
Allen was 60 in August 2010 when she filed the lawsuit. She argued that she was disoriented because of a combination of alcohol and prescription and over-the-counter drugs when she called 911 for help at her home in Ghent.
New, who was on duty and in uniform, arrived and raped her, then returned and raped her a second time.
Allen argued that she couldn’t consent to sex because of her impaired condition.
New was 34 when the suit was filed and had worked for the Norfolk police since April 2007.
In March, his attorney asked to withdraw as his lawyer because he couldn’t reach him or find him.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Greg Underwood found insufficient evidence to prosecute New, his spokeswoman said in 2010.
If attorneys for Allen had their way, the city of Norfolk would be paying up, too. But because of sovereign immunity, Doyle dismissed the lawsuit against the city, a decision that was upheld by the Virginia Supreme Court.
Robert Ruloff, one of the plaintiff’s attorneys, said his firm is using an investigator to try to find New.
“If we can find him, we can take his deposition and see what he has. If he’s got any assets, we can try to take his assets,” Ruloff said. “We’re going to pursue this until we try to get her compensation.”
City spokeswoman Lori Crouch said records show New was terminated on Nov. 11, 2010.
Cop Must Pay $2 Million For Forced Sex
In other news, a federal judge ordered a former deputy sheriff to pay $2 million in damages to a 15-year-old girl he forced to give him a blow job.
Former Jackson County sheriff’s Officer Steven W. Burgess pleaded guilty in 2010 to violating the girl’s constitutional rights.
He was sentenced to 14 years in prison without parole.
According to court documents, Burgess was on duty and in uniform when he came across the victim and her friends on July 24, 2007 at around 2 a.m.
Burgess told the friends to leave and ordered the victim to stay. He put her in handcuffs, groped her breasts and buttocks and forced her to perform oral sex on him.
She sued Burgess and Jackson County in September 2011, claiming the county had a pattern of failing to restrain or punish its officers for sexual misbehavior.
U.S. District Judge Fernando Gaitan Jr. last week ordered Burgess to pay the victim $400,000 in compensatory damages and $1.6 million in exemplary damages.
Jackson County has paid $400,000 to settle the victim’s claim.
I hope you’ll take a moment to consider just what it is that you are paying for via taxation – and speak out against the violence.
Until next week, stay safe and remember that badges don’t grant extra rights.