Woman sues captors and bar for injuries sustained during escape

Ann Knef Oct. 29, 2007, 11:00am

An Oklahoma woman who says she was profoundly intoxicated when struck by a motorist is suing an O'Fallon bar and a couple she claims may have spiked her drinks in an attempt to lure her away for sexual exploitation.

Plaintiff Loretta Reynolds filed suit in federal court Oct. 25 claiming she sustained serious injuries after being hit by a car near the eastbound entrance ramp to Interstate 64 on Oct. 27, 2005.

Reynolds claims she was trying to get away from Brenda L. Russell and Casey J. Carson.

In August, Russell and Carson were sentenced to federal prison after pleading guilty to charges of bringing a child under the age of 13 across state line on two occasions between August 2005 and March 2006 to engage in sexual conduct.

Russell and Carson were former military contractors who lived in Fairview Heights. Russell, who was sentenced to more than 14 years in prison, is at the Carlswell Federal Medical Center in Fort Worth, Texas. Carson, who received a 45-year sentence, is believed to be at a federal correctional facility in southern Illinois, the complaint states.

Reynolds' suit seeks in excess of $75,000 in compensatory damages plus punitive damages from CB Sports Bar, which owns Jerzey's bar, located at 950 Talon Dr., as well as Russell and Carson.

According to the complaint, Reynolds was at Jerzey's on Oct. 26, 2005. After consuming approximately two beers she left the bar but discovered her car would not start.

"She asked the bartender for help getting a taxicab but he told her there were no cabs or assistance available and that she would have to get a ride with someone to get to her hotel," the complaint states.

Reynolds is represented by Thomas J. Steece of Oklahoma Legal Services in Oklahoma City.

She claims Russell and Carson offered to drive her to her hotel.

"Before leaving Jerzey's, Defendants Russell and Carson provided several drinks to Plaintiff with the aid of the bartender at Jerzey's, in an attempt to cause Plaintiff to comply with their designs to lure her to their apartment for sexual exploitation," the complaint states. "Plaintiff believes Defendants Russell and Carson may have added a substance to her drinks to cause her to be in a more compliant state."

She claims that subsequent to getting in the car with Russell and Carson she realized "they were not going to her hotel and learned of Defendants' plans to use her for sex."

Reynolds states she left the car when Russell and Carson went into a convenience store.

"Confused and intoxicated, Plaintiff tried to walk back to her hotel," the complaint states.

Reynolds claims that Russell and Carson should have, among other things, known that she would not be able to care for herself while she was under the influence of alcohol and/or other drugs that they had her to ingest.

She also claims they should have known that their attempt to involve her in their sex scheme would have caused her to attempt to escape them.

Russell and Carson breached their duty to provide for Reynolds' welfare and to "transport her safely when they, wantonly and in disregard for her safety, tried to ensnare her into a sexual situation they reasonably should have known would be revolting and disgusting to Plaintiff," the complaint states.

The suit claims Jerzey's should have known Russell and Carson were getting Reynolds intoxicated for the purpose of sexual exploitation.

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