Madison - St. Clair Record

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Woman accuses former Belleville police officer of sexual assault, seeks $55 million

Federal Court

By Mario Marroquin | Jul 12, 2019


BENTON -- A Missouri plaintiff seeks $55 million in compensatory and punitive damages from former Belleville police officer Christopher Coulter, Belleville police chief William Clay and the city of Belleville, alleging she was assaulted by the former officer.

A plaintiff identified as S.T. filed the six-count complaint in the U.S. District Court Southern District of Illinois on June 26, alleging four counts of assault, battery, false imprisonment, intentional infliction of emotional distress, deprivation of civil rights and a violation of the state’s Gender Violence Act.

The charges stem from alleged events that took place around June 30, 2018. Turner alleges Coulter and other police officers responded to a loitering report outside the Moto Mart at 701 W Main St., where she had been dropped off by a friend. Turner claims her cellphone at the time was inoperable and after explaining to the officers that she required assistance getting to a bus station, Coulter insisted on driving the plaintiff to her destination, the suit states.

According to the suit, Turner claims she was placed in the back of Coulter’s police vehicle and driven to a secluded area where she was called a racial slur and was forced to perform a sexual act on him. The plaintiff alleges she was moved back in the former officer’s vehicle afterward, where she lost consciousness and was driven to the Fairview Heights Metrolink station on St. Clair Avenue.

Turner alleges she woke up "traumatized," and was taken to Memorial Hospital in Belleville by an ambulance after an unknown person contacted emergency services. 

Turner claims she reported the sexual assault at the hospital, and a rape kit was performed. The lawsuit does not provide the results of the test. 

Coulter was placed on administrative leave around July 1, 2018, when he was identified as the officer who was on duty and transported the plaintiff, according to the suit. The former police officer resigned Oct. 22, 2018, two days before a scheduled interrogation as part of an administrative investigation by Clay.

Following his resignation, Turner alleges Coulter was not interrogated, and that Clay did not make any findings in regards to the allegations.

Clay could not be reached for comment.

Greene Legal Group LLC of Atlanta is representing the plaintiff.

U.S. District Court Southern District of Illinois case number 3:19-cv-00695

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