Raped & Held Captive at City Hall, Woman Says | Courthouse News Service
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Raped & Held Captive at City Hall, Woman Says

SHREVEPORT, La. (CN) - An 18-year-old woman was raped in the mayor's office by a Shreveport city official posing as a cop, she claims in federal court.

Kaitlyn Winstel says that Rick Seaton had taken her to city hall under the pretext of helping her get her boyfriend out of jail, but he raped her there instead.

The couple and Winstel's mother, all visiting from Florida, had gotten into an argument at Independence Bowl when police arrested the boyfriend, according to the complaint in the Western District of Louisiana.

One officer allegedly testified later that, at the time of the arrest, "either Rick Seaton or the deputy shined his flashlight on Kaitlyn Winstel[,] and Rick Seaton said 'that's nice - I could do something with that.'"

Winstel says someone calling himself "Officer John" approached her during the arrest and said he could help her get her boyfriend out of jail.

She later learned that his name was Rick Seaton, but someone corrected her for calling him "Officer Rick," according to the complaint. Seaton allegedly replied, "I'm kind of an officer, I'm the chief administrative officer."

Winstel says that Seaton is 6'5 and 220 pounds, while she is 5'3 and 115 pounds.

"As they arrived at the city jail, before she exited the car, Rick Seaton began rubbing her back and pulled her close to him and kissed her on the cheek," the complaint states.

Winstel allegedly was concerned at this stage that Seaton would rape her, and asked the bondsman, "how do you call the police on the police?"

Though Winstel informed the bondsman of her concerns and even offered to pay him for a ride to Samstown Casino and Hotel, where she was staying, the bondsman said it was against policy, according to the complaint.

Winstel says the bondsman has since confirmed her account of their encounter.

Seaton allegedly followed Winstel into the city hall lobby, began rubbing her back and offered her a ride.

"Although Kaitlin Winstel did not want to get into the car again with Rick Seaton, she did so only because she was in a strange city, did not know where she was, nor did she know anyone nor how to get back to her hotel, and she felt she had no choice," the lawsuit states.

Seaton allegedly took Winstel to his own office in city hall where he said she could use the phone.

"While she used the phone in Rick Seaton's office, he began touching her under her clothing on her bare back," the lawsuit states.

"Winstel instructed Rick Seaton to stop but he did not," she added.

"Rick Seaton pulled Kaitlyn Winstel down onto his lap, at which she attempted to move towards his knees in order to get back to her feet, but Rick Seaton held her on his lap. Kaitlyn Winstel stated that at this point she was fearful of being killed by Rick Seaton."

Next Seaton allegedly led Winstel to the mayor's office. By herself in the restroom, Winstel says she used her dying cellphone to text her boyfriend.

Winstel "firmly believed that she would not leave the office alive and she wanted her boyfriend to know what happened to her," according to the complaint.

Winstel allegedly realized, however, that she had her boyfriend's cellphone.

After Winstel left the bathroom, "Seaton pushed her against the wall and began to kiss her," according to the complaint,.

She says she told Seaton that she was having her period as he took off his clothes.

"Seaton forced Winstel's pants down around her knees, pulling her belly ring from its channel," according to the complaint. "Rick Seaton also pulled down the underwear that Kaitlyn Winstel was wearing. Rick Seaton removed the tampon ... and began touching her vaginal area with his mouth."

Seaton's ID had allegedly fallen from his pocket at some point, and Winstel says she put it with her things when Seaton left the office briefly to get a condom.

When Seaton returned, he "instructed Kaitlyn Winstel to unzip her boots," the suit states. "Kaitlyn Winstel removed her boots, at which, Rick Seaton penetrated her with his penis. When he 'finished,' Kaitlyn Winstel attempted to collect her clothing, but was unsuccessful. Rick Seaton then grabbed Kaitlyn Winstel and pulled her back on to the couch where he sexually assaulted her again."

Seaton then allegedly told Winstel to go into the bathroom while he put his clothes on because 'he did not want any of the janitorial staff to see him in the office unclothed."

From the bathroom, Winstel says she used her boyfriend's cell phone to text her mother: "mom ny5 fone die im at mayor offic2e downtoen officer seaton helppp."

Winstel says Seaton later took his ID card back from her and drove her back to the casino. She allegedly wrote down Seaton's license plate number as he drove away.

During Winstel's absence, her mother had contacted the Shreveport Police to report that "her daughter was missing and possibly the victim of a rape," according to the complaint.

Winstel says she reported the assault when she arrived at the casino.

"The Mayor of Shreveport, Cedric Glover, learned of the assault shortly after it was reported to Shreveport Police, at which he authorized another employee to relay word to Rick Seaton that he was 'fired' from the position of Assistance Chief Administrative Officer for the City of Shreveport," the complaint states.

Winstel claims, however, that Seaton said the sex was consensual and that he continued to meet with the mayor "in secret out of the City of Shreveport to limit the exposure of Seaton and the liability of the City of Shreveport."

"Investigators obtained the video surveillance from the N.O. Thomas Building in which the assaults occurred," according to the complaint. "IT employees for the City of Shreveport advised that it appeared as though someone had made an attempt to 'erase' some of the video, and the IT employees advised that Rick Seaton may have had administrative rights to the server such that he could have erased video from the server. Video was obtained, however, that clearly shows the events before and after the assaults as they were described by Kaitlyn Winstel."

Winstel says that "Seaton was known to his employers to be sexually active with other females outside his marriage."

His employers "knew or should have known" that Seaton kept condoms and a sex toy in his desk," according to the complaint.

Shreveport allegedly had policy as Seaton's employer to "ignore the predatory conduct of Rick Seaton towards young women."

Winstel seeks damages from Seaton and Shreveport for cruel and unusual punishment and violation of her due process rights. She is represented by Joel Pearce and J. Ranssell Keane, both of Shreveport.

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