Sexual assault victim blames Philadelphia police for attack

By Jim Boyle | May 9, 2014

A woman who was allegedly beaten and sexually assaulted in 2011 has filed a civil suit against the Philadelphia police department and the city, claiming that officers purposefully released her from custody in a high crime area as an act of retaliation.

According to the complaint, the victim was arrested for public drunkenness and disorderly conduct outside her home in the early morning of Aug. 20, 2011.

Two officers from the 24th District handcuffed the woman and placed her into custody. Court documents say the victim asked the officers to take her home, but they allegedly refused and took her to the police station on Whitaker Ave.

The victim claims the officers knowingly discharged her while still intoxicated in a high crime neighborhood as a form of retribution for her drunken behavior.

Shortly after leaving the station, she was pulled into an alley and forced into a vehicle where she was beaten raped repeatedly, the lawsuit claims.

At approximately 6:30 a.m., police responded to a 911 call and took the victim to Temple University Hospital for treatment for a fractured elbow, contusions, scrapes and cuts. She was then taken to the Special Victims Unit, where a rape kit was completed. The victim claims that no further investigation was performed by the police department.

According to the complaint, the victim has experienced pain and suffering, mental anguish, and the loss of enjoyment of life due to the department's disregard for public safety. The plaintiff is seeking compensatory and punitive damages for the department's negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

The case has been filed in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, but defense attorneys have filed a petition to move the matter to the U.S. District Court of Eastern Pennsylvania. The plaintiff is represented by Andrew Stern and Elizabeth Crawford of the firm Kline & Specter.

The federal case ID number is 2:14-cv-02598-NIQA.

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