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Tuesday, February 27, 2024
Courthouse News Service
Tuesday, February 27, 2024 | Back issues
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Woman Says Chicago Cops Condone Predators

CHICAGO (CN) - A woman says two Chicago cops sexually assaulted her, and the police force's "code of silence" enabled it, as one of them had "sexually assaulted another woman in an unrelated attack" less than a month before they attacked her. Both officers have been criminally charged, she says.

"In May of 2011, the Cook County State's Attorney's Office approved charges of criminal sexual assault and official misconduct against both officers based on their criminal actions against Ms. Doe," Jane Doe says in her federal complaint.

She sued the City of Chicago and police Officers Paul Clavijo and Juan Vasquez.

Doe says she "is not the only sexual assault victim" of Officer Clavijo.

"On or about March 11, 2011, defendant Clavijo sexually assaulted another woman in an unrelated attack," and he has been criminally charged in that case too, the complaint states.

It continues: "This other victim reported the rape, yet the Chicago Police Department allowed defendants Clavijo and Vasquez to retain their employment as patrol officers, thus enabling them to commit a similar crime against Ms. Doe less than one month later. In May of 2011, the Cook County State's Attorney's Office also approved criminal sexual assault and official misconduct charges against defendant Clavijo in connection with the March 11 rape."

In her own case, Doe says that as she walked home on March 30, near Addison Street and Sheffield Avenue on Chicago's North Side, Clavijo and Vasquez were parked near the Red Line public transit station in a Chicago Police SUV.

She says the officers "gestured to her with their hands."

The complaint continues: "Believing the officers to have a legitimate police purpose, Ms. Doe obeyed their instruction and walked toward them.

"When Ms. Doe reached the police vehicle, the defendants offered to assist her by giving her a ride home. Assuming that it would be safe to accept a ride home from a Chicago police officer, Ms. Doe agreed. The defendant officers asked Ms. Doe for her address and she provided it to them.

"The defendant officers told Ms. Doe that she was not allowed to sit in the back seat of a police vehicle but instead would have to sit on the lap of Defendant Clavijo, who was in the passenger seat.

Defendants Clavijo and Vasquez proceeded to drive Ms. Doe to a liquor store and purchased alcohol with the intention of having Ms. Doe consume it.

"Defendant Vasquez went inside the liquor store, leaving Ms. Doe and defendant Clavijo alone in the police vehicle.

"Defendant Clavijo then proceeded to sexually assault Ms. Doe. At no time did Ms.

Doe give the police officer permission to assault her. To the contrary, Ms. Doe did not consent.

"When defendant Vasquez returned to the vehicle from the liquor store, the officers laughed together.

"The defendant officers then proceeded to Ms. Doe's home.

"Upon arriving at Ms. Doe's apartment building, one of the defendant officers put his hand on Ms. Doe's shoulder and directed her to her unit. The defendants insisted on entering Ms. Doe's apartment.

"Inside the apartment, both defendants Clavijo and Vasquez sexually assaulted Ms. Doe. She did not consent in any way to their unwanted sexual contact, and each officer knew that she did not consent.

"While being sexually assaulted, Ms. Doe began knocking loudly on her wall in an attempt to wake her neighbors and obtain help. Once she was able to break free from the defendant officers, Ms. Doe ran screaming from her apartment into the hallway.

"Neighboring residents heard Ms. Doe's screams for help and entered the hallway. One or more residents observed one of the defendants, who was partially dressed in police uniform and walking down the hallway to exit the building. One or more residents observed the other defendant officer, who was unclothed and running down the hallway to exit the building.

"Ms. Doe was taken to the hospital, where she was treated."

She filed a police report, and both officers were criminally charged, according to the complaint.

She seeks punitive damages for constitutional violations, assault and battery and conspiracy: "Municipal policy-makers are aware of, and condone and facilitate by their inaction, a 'code of silence' in the Chicago Police Department, by which officers fail to report misconduct committed by other officers, such as the misconduct at issue in this case."

She is represented by Arthur Loevy with Loevy & Loevy.

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