PROVIDENCE, R.I. (CN) - A teen-ager says a Providence police officer sexually assaulted her, and the city kept him on the force even though he was previously charged with "having sexual relations with a 10-year-old girl." The 19-year-old plaintiff says Officer Marcus Huffman also had been sentenced to a year in jail, suspended, for assaulting the director of the DMV in 1998.
The young woman claims that Huffman, a 13-year veteran of the Providence Police Department, took her to an unoccupied police substation, where he sexually assaulted her. "A subsequent investigation revealed that Officer Huffman left semen containing his DNA on the [plaintiff's] boxer shorts," according to the Superior Court complaint.
The complaint continues: "A surveillance camera showed Officer Marcus Huffman leaving the substation alone. Several minutes later his victim ... who had been sleeping or passed out, woke up and left the substation shortly after 3 a.m.
"[The plaintiff] made her way to a relative's house in South Providence and a family member called 9-1-1. A few minutes later three police officers showed up, including, ironically, Officer Huffman, to take a complaint about the alleged incident, which he did."
The young woman says Huffman had offered to drive her home in his squad car after she was denied entrance to a nightclub, because the bouncer thought she was drunk.
The complaint states: "A few months after Huffman started working as a police officer, the then 25-year-old Huffman was charged with having sexual relations with a 10-year-old girl when he was younger. Huffman was also charged with trying to extort sex from a well-known prostitute while he was on duty."
The complaint does not state how those charges were resolved.
It adds: "In addition, the defendant, Marcus Huffman, was charged in 1998 with three misdemeanor counts of assault, when he put the director of the DMV in a headlock and received a suspended 1-year jail term."
The plaintiff seeks punitive damages for sexual assault and battery, negligence and constitutional violations. She is represented by Brian Cunha of Fall River, Mass.
Two weeks ago Rhode Island State Police charged three other Providence cops with protecting a cocaine ring.
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