Local News

Woman sues town of Smithfield over sexual assault claim

Posted July 11, 2012
Updated July 12, 2012

— A woman who claims she was sexually assaulted by a Smithfield police officer has filed a lawsuit against the town.

The lawsuit, which was filed last month in Superior Court, alleges the off-duty officer was drinking at a bar when he approached the woman, who was a bar employee, and said he wanted her help exposing problems at the bar.

The woman agreed to help and stayed to play pool with the officer and other patrons after her shift ended, according to court documents. The woman said the officer asked her for a ride home, and she agreed “thinking that since he was a police officer and he was married, she would be safe and there was nothing to worry about.”

The woman said she briefly went into the officer’s house to see his dogs, and that he became enraged when she tried to leave. That’s when she said the officer began sexually assaulting her.

The attack continued for a short time until a friend of the officer pulled into the driveway to pick him up for a hunting trip, she said in court documents.

The woman said she reported the incident to the Smithfield Police Department, but officials did not discipline the officer after interviewing her. The woman claims the officer continues to harass her.

The lawsuit claims the town was negligent for continuing to employ the officer. The plaintiff is seeking $40,000 in damages and court fees.

Town officials issued a statement Thursday morning disavowing any connection to the allegations.

"The allegations concern activities that occurred, if they occurred at all, outside of (the officer's) former employment with the town and were not connected to the town in any manner," the statement said. "The town has cooperated in every respect with the alleged victim and will continue to do so. If the town remains a party to this action, it will vigorously defend the action and the allegations made against the town."


This story is closed for comments.

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  • SmokeWagon Jul 17, 2012

    A woman stays after hours in a bar with a man she just met...then gives same man a ride home...then goes into this man's house...NOW has a problem with HIS judgement...??? What's WRONG with THIS picture...???

  • cmsa80 Jul 12, 2012

    Why sue the city if he was off duty. It wasnt the city or the tax payers fault (those who will have to pay her money if she won) that this guy is a creep. File charges and sue HIM not the city. BUT you wouldnt get that much money that way so i wonder whats her priority...

  • kermit60 Jul 12, 2012

    Many comments on here are based entirely off of the women telling the truth. Maybe he wasn't charged or reprimanded because there was nothing to base it on after it was looked into. Both parties seem to have made bad decisions so the matter of who is telling the truth, if either, is much in question.

  • jenjengirl89 Jul 12, 2012

    The story is confusing. Did the man work as a police officer for the town or not?

    These two statments below are conflicting. Maybe WRAL didn't bother to report if the man was terminated or quit.

    "the off-duty officer"
    "(the officer's) former employment with the town "

  • rroadrunner99 Jul 12, 2012

    I guess they will raise prices on something to make up the 40 grand she is after.

  • Rebelyell55 Jul 12, 2012

    Smithfield's officals better hope they got good records of their investigation of this at the time of the complaint.

  • mandre4 Jul 12, 2012

    Interesting story. On a side note, this guy was likely drunk as a skunk, got no sleep, and spent the next morning hunting. Perfect. That is also a recipe for disaster.

  • Lamborghini Mercy Jul 12, 2012

    TheDude abides Lambo Mercy- Is that your justification for this off-duty LEO's actions? Just a little release, huh? Cmon man, there is NO excuse.

    I'm just acknowledging the FACT she failed to use good judgement to begin with. Kind of hard to call "foul" when you're inside a married man's house, and bet the wife didn't know.... As for the sexual assault claim, its his word against hers and given the fact he's a cop and was inside his home, I'll bet its nothing more than a smack on the wrist, unless she has evidence.

  • Tax Man Jul 12, 2012

    Guess it will up to a jury to decide!

  • Country Girlz Have MORE fun Jul 12, 2012

    Tell me why the town of Smithfield did wrong. I wasn't there but it sounds like she is looking for a quick buck. As a wife, I'd be getting to the bottom of this faster than a detective.