An Ohio woman has filed a lawsuit against the city of Columbus for failing to take appropriate action in response to complaints of a former school-resource officer's sexual misconduct. The 49-year-old former officer, who is also named as a defendant in the suit, faces criminal charges of coercion and enticement of a minor for allegedly exchanging sexually inappropriate text messages with the plaintiff's 15-year-old daughter. The lawsuit accuses the defendants of assault, negligent retention and supervision, inflicting emotional distress on the plaintiff's daughter. The woman is requesting a minimum of $25,000 in damages.
FBI investigators say the officer exchanged the explicit messages over the course of the three months, during which time the girl reportedly sent a nude photo of herself to the suspect. The officer allegedly tried to convince the girl to have sex with him and threatened her not to report their relationship. After the accusation came to light, another 15-year-old girl came forward with similar reports, claiming that she had engaged in sex acts with the suspect.
According the lawsuit, the city received numerous reports of inappropriate behavior on the part of the officer even before he was hired at the girl's school. In fact, he was suspended for 30 days from his security job at an Ohio theater and ordered to undergo counseling in 1992 after a police investigation found that he had made sexually suggestive remarks to women while on duty. The lawsuit says the city and school acted negligently in failing to properly monitor the officer, who "has little or no supervision by his superiors in connection with his day-to-day job duties." The suspect is currently being detained in an Ohio jail after being denied bail.
Ohio residents who believe they have suffered due to the negligence or misconduct of other parties may be entitled to compensation. Such individuals should contact an attorney specializing in civil litigation to learn more about their legal options.
Source: Columbus Dispatch, "Mother suing over sexting officer," Allison Manning, Aug. 14, 2012