Bi-State sued by rape victim's mother

Ann Knef Sep. 14, 2006, 6:24am

A woman whose daughter was abducted from the Washington Park Metro-Link station and raped is suing Bi-State Development Agency for negligence.

Bernice King of O'Fallon filed suit on behalf of her daughter in St. Clair County Circuit Court Sept. 8.

King claims her daughter was threatened by four unknown men who were in a car near the Metro Link station on May 4, 2004. After threatening to shoot her in the head the men forced her in the car, according to the complaint.

King's daughter was taken to an unknown residence and raped by one of the men. Later, the men drove her to Washington Park and pushed her out of the car, the suit claims.

"East St. Louis, Illinois is a notorious high crime area and is known to have a high rate of violent crimes, rapes and crimes involving guns," the complaint states.

King claims Bi-State failed to provide safe access to its premises, knowingly allowed criminals to loiter on its property, failed to remove high bushes and weeds, allowed loiterers to consume alcohol and drugs and placed a station in an area occupied by dilapidated and abandoned houses, high bushes, weeds and trash, which it knew were used by criminals to further the victimization of passengers.

According to the complaint, King's daughter sustained physical injuries, pain and suffering, anxiety and mental distress and has incurred medical expenses.

"Bi-State Development Agency owed (plaintiff) a duty as a business invitee to use ordinary care to protect her from the criminal attacks of third parties," the complaint states.

King is represented by Eric W. Evans and Dawn Kamadulski of Roth, Evans & Lading PC in Granite City.

She is seeking damages in excess of $75,000.

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