Forest Park pushes back on cop sex case

Village asserts officer was off duty and sex with 19-year-old intern was consensual

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Lawyers for the village of Forest Park filed a motion for summary judgment, Jan. 15, in the sexual assault case brought by a then-19-year-old female police intern against the village and Forest Park Police Detective Young Lee.

The village seeks to have the court determine the case before Judge Ronald A. Guzman without a full trial. On Feb. 7, the woman's lawyers, of the Chicago firm Loevy and Loevy, filed to answer the motion for summary judgment by March 15.

The plaintiff initially filed her case in Federal Court in September 2011, accusing Lee of accompanying her to a pub in Berwyn as part of an "alcohol sting" on March 30, 2011. She alleged Lee bought her two drinks and then sexually assaulted her in her car. She says she woke up the next morning in her apartment building's laundry room. Doe filed a complaint against Lee on April 7, 2011.

In the village's statement, lawyers for the village assert that the intern was "no stranger to bars and alcohol and drank alcohol to excess and to the point of blacking out prior to the evening of March 30, 2011."

The village's motion alleged that she consumed more than two drinks, listing "two apple martinis, a shot and another drink with vodka through the course of the night at two separate Berwyn bars."

In addition, the village asserted that Lee was off-duty, and "acting outside the scope of employment" when he and the intern had sexual relations in a vehicle in the parking lot of a Berwyn Mexican restaurant sometime "after 1 a.m."

The plaintiff had been told she could pay off a multi-thousand-dollar parking ticket fine by participating in underage alcohol stings at $20 per event. Additionally, according to deposition testimony, her parking fines had been voluntarily reduced by police brass by "thousands of dollars." But in the motion, the village's attorneys asserted she was not an employee of the village. Because Doe also filed a Title VII sexual harassment claim, the village seeks to prove that Lee was not in a supervisory role over her. If Lee is determined to have been her supervisor, the standard of liability for the village is stricter, from negligence to strict liability, said Village Attorney Julie Bruch.

"Under strict liability, the village would have to predict, was there anything in the history between them that should have put the village on notice," Bruch said.

Although Lee had allegedly told the woman they would participate in alcohol stings, and was in a position of authority in the alcohol sting program, the two had never performed an alcohol sting together.

The village's attorneys assert that the woman understood on the evening in question that the two were not on an alcohol sting. Doe acknowledged in a deposition that Lee came back to the table at a Berwyn bar with a beer for himself, and "after that point, then I was clear we were not there for work purposes."

After Doe made the complaint against the village, Police Chief Jim Ryan immediately initiated an investigation, undertaken by retired Illinois State Police Lt. Col. Robert T. Johnson, according to the village's motion. Johnson concluded "that the sexual relationship was consensual and [the plaintiff's] allegation of sexual assault was unfounded."

The motion said Johnson also determined, "Lee should receive a 30-day suspension for conduct unbecoming an officer due to his providing alcoholic beverages to an underage intern and for having a sexual relationship with an intern." Lee was married with a 4-year-old child at the time. Ryan said in deposition that Lee received a 15-day suspension and had 15 vacation days taken away. But Ryan said he did not tell the rest of the force about the punishment, noting that news travels in a small police force.

The village's motion also denies that Forest Park has "a widespread practice that denied [the woman] her Constitutional rights," and denies that "Lee was … acting pursuant to any policy or practice of Forest Park."

Doe's lawyers had asserted that the Forest Park Police Department "directly encourages the very type of misconduct at issue here by failing to adequately train, supervise and control its officers ... leading Forest Park police officers to believe their actions will never be scrutinized and directly encouraging future abuses."

Her lawyers presented evidence of sexual assault and sexual harassment cases by and among members of the Forest Park Police Department. In the past ten years, the department has had several incidences of officers participating in both sexual harassment of fellow officers and civilians and two accusations of sexual assault.

To bolster the village's claim that investigators had found the plaintiff's actions with Lee to be consensual, the village asserted in a supporting memo that she accompanied Lee to a Chinese restaurant the day following the alleged sexual assault. She also attended a department shooting range trip within a week after the alleged assault where she socialized with Lee, the memo said.

The village asserted that the woman could not bring a claim against the village under the Illinois Gender Violence Act because the village was not a person and because Forest Park claimed "tort immunity" to the claims on the state level.

If the village of Forest Park is found not liable for the claims, the case reverts to state court where it becomes, "a case of state law of assault and battery between two private citizens that has nothing to do with the village," Bruch said.

Doe's lawyer said their team would be answering the village's motion next month. "We dispute the village's characterization of the evidence and the law and will be filing a written response in a couple weeks," emailed Elizabeth Wang of Loevy and Loevy.

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Reader Comments

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Bill from Melrose Park South  

Posted: February 16th, 2013 5:19 PM

Careful, Eddie. You're sloshing Wild Turkey on your keyboard again. What WOULD your wife and mother say about such sloppiness...... Done debating your sorry ass. To paraphrase the great Temptations, rant on brother (or, as I suspect, sister), rant on........

Edward P from Forest Park  

Posted: February 16th, 2013 5:00 PM

@ Billy, you my friend take other news reports and treat them as fact. You copy and plagiarize those stories as if fact. With the incredible lack of responsible journalism and severe lack of fact checking you fail at every turn. Find another job of let your wife make the income for you. You are a miserable failure at your attempt of being some kind of reporter. Give it up you are toast. Failed and failed miserably.

Bill from Melrose Park South  

Posted: February 16th, 2013 3:50 PM

Jerry, there were no 14 or 15-year old girls mentioned in numerous documents. One was 19 and another might have been around the same age. A third was 21.

Edward P from Forest Park  

Posted: February 16th, 2013 3:36 PM

@ Billy, your nonsense about corruptness is without any fact but merely the supposition in your playful mind. Phycological patterns like ours have been well documented and written in journals and white papers. Your sick and need help. A good physiatrist can do wonders for you. There is no help available in a bar or from the mindless schooling you received. You grew up a buly and never grew out of your behavior pattern. Systemic mind sets you exhibit tell allot about your short comings. Get help.

Mark from Forest Paek  

Posted: February 16th, 2013 2:59 PM

Oh please do tell about the 14 and 15 year old girls Jerry, we would like to know what you know. How come we didn't here about this Jerry? Have you been hiding this from us? Come on give up the facts.

Terry from FP  

Posted: February 16th, 2013 2:33 PM

Huh? 14 & 15 year-old girls? Do tell.

jerry from forest park  

Posted: February 16th, 2013 10:34 AM

Having read the story I think we need a new village attorney, I mean come on 2 years to come up with this, please. I also find it interesting that the incident took place several months before the local elections but was not reported until several months after the elections. Shades of Poviso East, but there they also left out the 14 and 15 year old girls that were invloved.

Bill from Melrose Park South  

Posted: February 16th, 2013 10:16 AM

My thought processes are just fine, Eddie. Your posts, on the other hand, reflect a person unable to make the very rational, detailed arguments you accuse others of being unable to make....... You're a Proviso type Calderonista who supports corrupt, dishonest politics and the governance it produces. And you've no defense for your positions and can't articulate them, so you throw out unsubstantiated slurs. You are right about one thing- that sort of underhanded b.s. does wind me up a bit.

Edward P from Forest Park  

Posted: February 16th, 2013 10:00 AM

@Billy, wasn't trying to carry on any argument let alone any bar room chatter. Your remarks continue to show your compensatory shortage of rational thinking and characteristic of a person who needs and should seek professional assistance. Seek help man you need it more than you realize. You are a frustrated, wound up person with shortcomings likely tied to other failures in life. Mental assistance is available thru many outlets. Go seek the help you need.

Bill from Melrose Park South  

Posted: February 15th, 2013 9:22 PM

Still can't carry on an argument without dumb ass bar room attitude, can you, Eddie? And I can't stand Jesse Jackson, Jr. or Sr, you stroke.

Edward P from Forest Park  

Posted: February 15th, 2013 7:41 PM

@ Billy, while you"re pondering your next missive try some prayer, you know just like the Jackson family. After all you are liberal just like they, right? In fact now that I'm thinking of it did you and Sharon Daly grow up in the same place? Maybe the both of you could pray together, console each others twisted minds, hold each others hand and best of all tell your fabulous stories to each other. Birds of a feather you know.

Edward P from Forest Park  

Posted: February 15th, 2013 7:34 PM

Oh Billy you really do need help. Jump over to Oak Park you might find free assistance. The first step in recovery is admitting you need help. Go seek it man you need it bad.

Bill from Melrose Park South  

Posted: February 15th, 2013 4:40 PM

But I was asking you, Eddie, if you ever feel up to it. You need other people to answer questions? Now, that's REALLY sad. So who's the one who needs the help here?

Edward P from Forest Park  

Posted: February 15th, 2013 4:34 PM

Billy, check with your wife she"ll know, maybe ask your mother too. Delusional sums up your character. Such a pitty, and waste of potential human capital.

Bill from Melrose Park South  

Posted: February 15th, 2013 4:19 PM

Ohhhh! You DO care, Ed. But, what's a "compensatory shortage of life"? Sounds serious.

FYI  

Posted: February 15th, 2013 4:17 PM

Ed? That's two posts this afternoon. Are you goofing off at work again?

Edward P from Forest Park  

Posted: February 15th, 2013 4:03 PM

@billy MP South, stay over on the forest park regurgitation site with your obnoxious posts, rants and raves about nothing other than your compensatory shortage of life. Seek help man you need it, or converse with your wife for mental therapy. Maybe she can help you.

Bill from Melrose Park South   

Posted: February 15th, 2013 3:40 PM

Thanks for the positive job evaluation, Eddie, but I'm not compensating, I'm multi-tasking. And be clear with me- do I SEEM to be posting at all hours of the day, or am I ACTUALLY posting at all hours of the day? Finally, why do the supporters of Calderone and Welch, et al so often mention how they don't agree with or care about criticisms posted here? I for one don't care if you agree or not. I'll keep posting my "tid bits" and you keep not agreeing or caring. And let us know in your posts.

Edward P from Forest Park  

Posted: February 15th, 2013 1:44 PM

@ Bill MP south, you do a very good job at compensating for your inability to have a job since you seem to write on here at all hours of the day. Does your wife support you and afford you the opportunity to rant adnaudsium here and there. Clearly you are one troubled individual, before ranting about anyone you should evaluate yourself by looking in the mirror. Your short comings are evident and appearant. Those us us that respect the mayor don't agree with your little tid bits of nothing.

Bill from Melrose Park South  

Posted: February 15th, 2013 10:34 AM

"There are good police officers in this town." Indeed there are. The problem is the police commissioner, aka Tony Calderone. Can't oversee the department to save his life, but he does enjoy running around with his little scanner/radio wearing that windbreaker with POLICE on the back. The psychologists call it "compensatory behavior."

Forest Parker  

Posted: February 15th, 2013 9:44 AM

There are good police officers in this town. How long will Forest Park continue coddling the trouble makers in their midst? Is there truly no one who can step up and put a stop to the parade of lawsuits and embarrassment they bring to our town?

matt on madison  

Posted: February 13th, 2013 1:00 PM

You realize how stupid this sounds for the Village, your admitting to giving her alcohal but shes been drunk before. SHES UNDER 21. This officer should of been fired. And to make matters worse after this incident he did the same kind of stings with under age girls. Stupid.

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