PITTSBURG — The alleged victim in an alleged sexual assault by a former Pittsburg Police Officer has filed a lawsuit in Crawford County District Court.
According to a release from the victim’s attorney, Corey M. Adams, of the Robinson Law Firm in Wichita, a civil rights lawsuit filed today in accuses the City of Pittsburg of failing to protect one of its citizens from a sexual assault by a police officer. The lawsuit alleges that while transporting a female after an arrest, a provisionally certified Pittsburg Police Officer forced the woman to engage in unwanted sexual behaviors, traumatizing her and causing her to fear for her safety.
In September of last year, then PPD officer Jesse Davis, of Carthage, Missouri, was arrested and charged with aggravated sexual battery, a level five person felony with a possible sentence of between 31 and 136 months in prison.
Davis, at the time of the alleged incident, had not yet completed training at the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center.
The charges stem from an August 2017 incident in which Davis and another member of PPD responded to a domestic disturbance in Pittsburg, where a male and female were involved in an altercation.
The female party was arrested and transported to the jail by Davis. According to investigators, the arrestee stated during the transport Davis asked her if she would show him her breasts and allow him to touch them. The arrestee said she lifted her shirt and was able to maneuver herself into a position that allowed Davis to reach through the patrol car’s partition into the back seat where he touched her breasts.
After an investigation by the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office, Davis was fired.
According to the release, the lawsuit brings claims against Davis, his supervisors, and the City of Pittsburg. The city is accused of tolerating an atmosphere of sexual misconduct and undue familiarity within the police department that goes beyond this one incident. The lawsuit alleges the city failed to put necessary procedures in place to protect citizens from this kind of assault, the release said.
“Ultimately, the woman bringing the lawsuit hopes to reform the practices of the City of Pittsburg, and its police officers, so no one else will ever have to go through the same painful experience,” the release states.
There are 12 separate accusations in the lawsuit, claiming violations of the 14th and 4th Amendments to the Constitution, negligence, battery, assault and both negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
The lawsuit names the City of Pittsburg, PPD Chief Melinda Hulvey, Davis and “John and Jane Does acting in their individual and official capacities. The alleged victim is asking for $75,000 or more in damages on each count, plus prejudgment interest.
The criminal case against Davis is still pending and he is scheduled for arraignment 2 p.m. March 6.
The City of Pittsburg declined to comment at this time.