A young woman whose identity was withheld for confidentiality reasons was granted a six-figure settlement by the Village of Forest Park council earlier this month, shortly before the case was set to go to trial in federal court. The young woman was represented by attorneys Arthur Loevy, Roshna Bala Keen, Elizabeth Wang and Vince Field at Loevy & Loevy.
The suit, Jane Doe v. Detective Young Lee and Village of Forest Park, No. 11 CV 6102, alleged that in early 2011, Officer Lee ordered alcohol at a bar for the then-19-year-old woman, and after she became intoxicated, he sexually assaulted her in a police car outside of the bar. She awoke the next morning in the laundry room of her apartment building.
At the time, the young woman was employed as an intern by the Forest Park Police Department where as part of her job she “assisted with alcohol stings, to identify bars and other establishments that illegally served alcohol to underage patrons,” according to the suit.
After the attack, the young woman filed a complaint with the Forest Park Police Department against Detective Lee. Although the Department found that Lee had engaged in “improper conduct,” by having sexual contact with the young woman in a police vehicle, it nevertheless issued a determination that the allegation of sexual assault was “unfounded.”
Detective Lee continues to be employed by the Forest Park Police Department. However, he agreed to pay $4,000 of the $650,000 settlement, unusual in alleged police misconduct cases, where officers typically pay nothing.
Forest Park police officers have been accused of sexual harassment and/or assault on at least five other occasions since 2005, according to documents unearthed by the Doe v. Lee case.
Coverage of the suit by the Forest Park Review can be found here, here, here and here.