CINCINNATI (AP) – A woman who reported being violently raped and assaulted by a cab driver filed a lawsuit Monday against a Cincinnati police officer who arrested her instead of taking her to the hospital.
The woman filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against Officer Adrienne Brown, who was on paid desk duty pending an internal investigation, department spokeswoman Sgt. Julian Johnson said.
“The officer’s conduct did not rise to the level of professionalism that is expected from our officers, nor is it indicative of the majority of officers’ behavior on this department,” Johnson said in a statement.
Brown, 33, did not respond to a request for comment.
On the night of Jan. 19, the woman, whom The Associated Press is not naming because she’s an accuser in a sex crime case, went to a downtown Cincinnati club with her sister and friend for a girls’ night out, according to the lawsuit.
Afterward, each woman got in a separate cab. The accuser, who’s from the Cincinnati area, had gotten a hotel room for the night as a treat and to avoid driving home after drinking. But instead of taking her back to her hotel, the cab driver took her to a deserted lot in the city’s West Side, jumped into the back seat, and then choked and raped her, the lawsuit says.
The driver then pulled the woman out of the cab and slammed her to the ground, and she hit her head and momentarily lost consciousness, the lawsuit says.
The cab driver fled, and the woman flagged down two people to call 911.
Once Brown arrived, the lawsuit says, she began treating the woman “as if she was a criminal and not the victim of a violent and humiliating crime.”
A police dash-cam video shows the woman sobbing in the back seat of the police cruiser while Brown questions her. Brown appears to become frustrated when the woman struggles with one question, shutting the plastic divider between them and saying: “OK, you must don’t need our help.”
The woman then seems distraught and confused, banging on the divider repeatedly and asking Brown to pull over, all while crying that she was a rape victim.
Once at the jail, the woman cries over and over that she didn’t do anything wrong and pleads for help. The woman was booked on charges of disorderly conduct while intoxicated and resisting arrest.
“You should know your limit,” Brown tells her. “You’re an adult. You should never be in a situation where you don’t know you’re limit because you’re drinking too much.”
The woman told radio station 700 WLW that she was released later that morning and has a court appearance on the charges set for Friday. She said the whole situation was “a nightmare.”
“I’m an elegant woman; I’m a professional woman,” she said. “I’m not a street woman, even though I was treated like street trash, not only by the cab driver, but the police treated me worse than the cab driver.”
Sgt. Johnson said the department is conducting a criminal investigation into the rape and working on putting together a composite sketch of the cab driver using descriptions from the accuser and others.
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