SANTA FE, N.M. (CN) - A woman says her husband beat her when she discovered he had been watching child pornography, so she called the cops. She says Santa Fe Police confiscated his computer and printed out nude photos of her, and passed them around the station for the cops' own "sexual gratification."
Jane Doe sued the City of Santa Fe, its police Officer Jose Valencia, Chief of Police Eric Johnson, and John Doe Officers 1-5.
She says she called the cops in March 2009 after she "turned on her family's personal computer and learned that her husband had been viewing child pornography. When she confronted her husband with this information, he began to violently batter her."
Doe says she called 911 and Santa Fe Police officers arrived at her home on March 27, and arrested her husband on a charge of battery.
Also that day, she says, police Sgt. Gilbert Alessio and other officers "obtained a search warrant for the computers and evidence of child pornography in a locked gun case" in her home. The officers "seized the three computers in plaintiff's house."
Jane Doe has a 12-year-old daughter.
In executing the warrant, she says, the officers also seized some photographs of her that had been "kept high on a closet shelf. These photos depicted plaintiff naked, and had recently been taken by her husband."
She was alone in the photos, and was 28 years old, "and the photographs were clearly not child pornography or contraband and did not come within the scope of the search warrant," she says.
The officers returned those photos the next day.
She says her husband was convicted of domestic violence battery, but "the SFPD ignored the child pornography matter for one full year."
When she and her attorney asked what steps, if any, the cops planned to take to protect her daughter, she says her attorney was told "by a source within the SFPD that officers, including Valencia ... were intentionally displaying nude photographs of plaintiff which they had taken either directly from plaintiff's computers' hard drives, or from the hard copies of photos taken from plaintiff's closet when the search warrant was executed; and that these displays of the photographs were taking place in and around the premises of SFPD headquarters."
She says the cops were showing the photos "in a lewd and lascivious manner ... not connected with any police investigation ... solely for the purposes of degrading, demeaning, slandering, defaming and ridiculing plaintiff because she was a woman, with the goal of sexual gratification of these police officers and others."
She wants the photos returned and damages for constitutional violations, defamation, public degradation, emotional distress, sexual abuse and other charges.
She is represented in Santa Fe County Court by Mark Donatelli with Rothstein, Donatelli, Hughes, Dahlstrom, Schoenburg & Bienvenu.
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