Yandle and Watson
BENTON – St. Clair County Sheriff Rick Watson and former deputy Robert Sneed settled a claim that Sneed used his position for sexual gratification.
U.S. District Judge Staci Yandle posted notice of an agreement on April 1, in a suit that a Cahokia woman filed as Jane Doe last year. Terms of settlement were not disclosed in Yandle’s order.
Felony charges of official misconduct remain pending against Sneed in St. Clair County, where Circuit Judge Robert Haida has set trial to start June 10.
Jane Doe, represented by Louis Meyer of Peoria, sued Watson and Sneed last February.
According to the suit, Sneed stopped her car and asked for license and insurance.
Doe told Sneed she had neither, she had just bought the car, and she had the title at home. Sneed allegedly followed her home and asked to use the restroom.
When Sneed exited the restroom, Doe claimed Sneed said he wouldn’t tow her vehicle or take her to jail.
Sneed allegedly asked her how she would take care of him for his generosity, then told her to give him oral sex. Doe said no, and Sneed allegedly grabbed her, then sexually assaulted her.
Six months later, Sneed allegedly sexually assaulted her in her home again.
Doe’s lawsuit claimed Watson knew Sneed experienced emotional problems and allowed him to continue work as a deputy and retaining his gun.
This February, Yandle ruled that Sneed could provide Jane Doe’s deposition to his criminal defense lawyer, Lloyd M. Cueto.
Nathaniel Brown represented Sneed in the civil case, and Thomas Ysursa represented Watson.
Brown, Ysursa, and Meyer held a successful settlement conference on March 21, and later obtained county board approval.
Watson had settled two wrongful death suits against his office and his employees in the previous six weeks.