An unidentified woman claims an East St. Louis police officer coerced her to perform oral sex on him by making her fearful of arrest or of losing her children, who had been left home alone.
The woman, identified only as Jane Doe, claims East St. Louis Police Officers Ramone Carpenter and Christopher Parks pulled her over at the intersection of Louisiana Boulevard and 25th Street in East St. Louis on May 8, 2012. At the time, Doe was on her way to the store and had left her children alone at home, according to the complaint filed June 26 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.
After pulling Doe over, Carpenter conducted an allegedly inappropriate frisk of her. During the search, Carpenter grasped and fondled Doe’s breasts and also touched her crotch and buttocks, the suit states.
Both Carpenter and Parks then proceeded to ask Doe if she had a boyfriend. When she told them she did not, they demanded that they follow her to her house. Once Doe and the officers arrived at her home, the police searched it without a warrant or probable cause, the complaint says.
Carpenter then asked Doe to get into his vehicle, she claims. He drove her to Jones Park in East St. Louis while Parks followed in his own squad car, according to the complaint. Once they arrived at the park, Parks drove away after briefly talking to Carpenter, the suit states.
Carpenter climbed back into the vehicle with Doe and demanded oral sex from her, the complaint says.
“Fearful of the implied threat of arrest, force and/or losing her children, and generally fearful of the defendant’s status as a police officer, plaintiff acquiesced to the defendant’s demand,” the suit states. “Defendant Parks was aware that defendant Carpenter planned to sexually assault the plaintiff and did nothing.”
Carpenter and Parks were not the first East St. Louis police officers to engage in illicit actions, Doe claims.
For instance, a police detective was arrested earlier this year with five kilograms of cocaine while the East St. Louis police chief was charged with making false statements to federal authorities in relation to his theft of electronics from an abandoned vehicle, according to the complaint. In 2011, an East St. Louis police officer was charged with stealing an expensive watch out of a citizen’s car that he was having towed and a dispatcher was charged with texting fugitives and warning them police were on the way to make an arrest, the suit states.
“Municipality policy makers are aware of, and condone and facilitate by their inaction, a ‘blue wall of silence’ in the East St. Louis Police Department, by which officers fail to report misconduct committed by other officers, such as the misconduct at issue in this case, or fail to properly discipline instances of misconduct to deter future wrongdoing,” the complaint says.
In fact, in Doe’s case, the police chief initially recommended that Carpenter and Parks be suspended for 30 days each – a move “inadequate to deter wrongdoing such as the sexual assault which occurred here,” the suit states.
In her four-count complaint, Doe is seeking compensatory and punitive damages, plus attorney’s fees and other relief the court deems just.
Michael Gras of the Law Offices of Christopher Cueto in Belleville will be representing her.
St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 13-L-326.