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Woman Sexually Assaulted In LAPD Vehicle, Then Falls Out of Moving Car

Woman Sexually Assaulted In LAPD Vehicle, Then Falls Out of Moving Car

Jane Doe was 27 in March 2013 when she alleges she was groped by an LAPD officer in the course of an arrest, and then allowed to fall from a moving vehicle, incurring serious injuries that required multiple surgeries and extensive hospitalization. She’s suing the LAPD for compensation in her case, cracking open a horrific story of police brutality and violence that’s exposing the need for close watching of an already controversial police department.

Her story began, according to herself and witnesses, on March 17, 2013, when she was waiting for a designated driver in Koreatown with some friends. Two police officers stopped to see if she needed any help, and then stated that they would take Doe to a police station for her own safety given her state of intoxication. After handcuffing her and placing her in the backseat of the car, Doe says, one of the officers sat with her, groped at her thighs, and attempted to pull her closer.

Sexual assault in the back of a cop car is bad enough, but what happened next is so shocking, it almost beggars belief. As the car passed through a stoplight, Jane Doe tumbled out of the backseat and into the street. With her arms restrained, she couldn’t reach up to protect her head, and her jaw was broken by the fall. Several of her teeth were shattered, and she was rushed to the hospital with a severe head injury.

The officers claim she fell out of the vehicle when it stopped at a stoplight and then accelerated, but another video, provided by Doe’s attorney, shows a different story, of her body tumbling from a moving car as it proceeded through a green light. Security cameras from the area where she fell show that her dress was pulled down around her waist when she came to rest in the street, strongly suggesting that she had been partially undressed in the police car, as she testified in a deposition filed late in December.

In a suit against the officers involved, along with the LAPD, Doe claims that they failed to engage back door locks, thus engaging in negligence that contributed to her accident. She’s seeking justice both for her sexual assault, and for the accident itself, which resulted in time lost from school, high medical expenses, and other complications she’ll be living with for life, including the aftermath of her head injury. She’s needed dental and cosmetic surgeries, and she experiences chronic headaches.

This is not the first time LAPD officers have been accused of sexual assault. An off-duty officer was arrested in Austin, Texas on suspicion of sexual assault in 2009, while last year two officers were accused of threatening women with jail if they didn’t “consent” to sex. Clearly, despite close oversight in the wake of the RAMPART scandal, the LAPD still has some housekeeping to do, especially in regards to the treatment of female suspects, persons of interest and members of the community.

Jane Doe may have been arrested with the intent of bringing her to a police department to sleep off her intoxication, but many other women actively seek out help from police officers when they’re intoxicated and worried about their safety. The thought that those same police might actually be the safety threat is chilling, and allowing sexual assault to occur in the ranks of the LAPD (and other police departments) tells women that police officers are not safe, which is a dangerous precedent to set.

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Photo credit: John Liu.

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177 comments

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10:03AM PDT on May 18, 2014

Thank you

3:46AM PST on Jan 26, 2014

Thank you S. E. Smith, for Sharing this!

10:48PM PST on Jan 23, 2014

It is important for the justice system to remember that men in all occupations can be sex offenders. Neither the type of job that a man holds nor the status that he occupies in society should protect him from being suspected of a sex crime, successfully convicted, and sufficiently punished. No man who sexually abuses a woman should be considered too important or high status to face prison and the lash.

3:38AM PST on Jan 21, 2014

Cops are cowards these days. They don't go after the real criminals. They pick on innocent, helpless, defenseless citizens instead.

9:38PM PST on Jan 19, 2014

Thank you.

7:16PM PST on Jan 19, 2014

I don't completely trust the fuzz either. Not after my Aunt the cop told me some nightmarish tales. What makes me suspect that her story is true: she fell out of a moving police car. They don't have handles on the inside of the back seat [must be opened from the outside]. At the very least the cops were negligent for not closing the door.

"Moments after the patrol car passed out of view, the surveillance camera panned and zoomed in on the woman laying motionless in the street. Only an undergarment covered her chest."
If this is true and the officers dashcam has her prior WITH clothes on, that's proof positive she was assaulted.

What's more "The two officers, he said, remain in the field." Why are they allowing two suspected rapists on the job? At least they should have temporary leave until they are cleared. Granted most won't do something again while the heat is on; some however think they're the teflon kings and shit won't stick to them.

4:06AM PST on Jan 18, 2014

Thank you for the information.

2:15AM PST on Jan 18, 2014

I agree with Duane B

1:52PM PST on Jan 17, 2014

I don't believe the video cameras are lying. Almost every intersection with stoplights in the U.S. now has video cameras, thanks to all of the horrible acts (such as the Patriot Act and the Military Act) passed between 2001 and 2008 in this country, and which are renewed on a regular basis. Even where I live in the middle of nowhere, these cameras exist at two intersections with stoplights. Unfortunately, we will never know the whole story, because undoubtedly, the two officers involved will tell their version of "the truth" when they are deposed. And how often does this happen to women that never speak up? I never trust any police, because almost all of the ones that I have encountered act in an accusatory manner no matter why the stop. I keep the doors locked and only roll down the window enough to slide my registration, driver's license and insurance information out the window. I am always perplexed when they tell me to keep my hands on the steering wheel, but they want me to produce all of that information without removing my hands. And these are the people that are supposed to serve and protect, and actually are working for us, the taxpayer. Nuisance factor!

9:17AM PST on Jan 17, 2014

We don't know NEARLY enough about this to make a judgment.

An admittedly drunk woman SAYS she was abused by police officers.

THIS is all we know.

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