East St. Louis removes woman's claim of alleged forced sex act to federal court

By Christina Stueve Hodges | Aug 21, 2013

The City of East St. Louis has removed to federal court a woman’s case against the city’s police department for a sex act the woman was allegedly forced to perform on one of its officers.

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, May 8, 2012.

The case was removed to the U.S. Court for the Southern District of Illinois.

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, when he grasped and fondled Doe’s breasts and also touched her crotch and buttocks, the suit states.

Both officers asked Doe if she had a boyfriend. When she told them she did not, they demanded to 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, and she complied out of fear, according to the lawsuit.

Defendant Parks was aware defendant Carpenter planned to sexually assault the plaintiff and did nothing, the lawsuit states.

According to the defendant’s notice of removal of action filed July 29, the basis of the plaintiff’s complaint is premised on federal law, and that court has original jurisdiction arising under federal laws.

Doe seeks 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 represents the plaintiff.

Heidi L. Eckert of Clayborne, Sabo & Wagner in Belleville represents the defendant.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 13-L-326.

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