PHILADELPHIA (CN) — In a lawsuit against Philadelphia, a woman claims one of its police officers stalked and sexually assaulted her for 90 minutes while he was on duty — and that some of it was captured on surveillance video.
J.H. also sued the police officer she accuses of sexually assaulting her, Thomas O’Neill, in a July 27 complaint in the Court of Common Pleas.
She says O’Neill met her at her apartment on or around Memorial Day in 2016, for a minor issue in which no arrest was made. Her attorney Greg Zeff says in the complaint that J.H. suffers from mental illness.
In July 2016, as J.H. rode her bicycle, she says, O’Neill, on duty, ordered her to get into his marked police car, where he sexually assaulted her for 90 minutes.
“My client has been severely injured and deeply hurt by what has happened. We are going go find out everything we can to learn the truth, and to get compensation for what happened,” Zeff said in an telephone interview Tuesday from his Mt. Laurel, New Jersey office.
The complaint graphically describes the alleged assault in the police car, for instance, that O’Neill “described how he had sex with other women he picked up in his police car, and that one of the women tried to charge him money, but he doesn’t pay for sex.”
It continues: “Defendant officer then began making racially charged comments, noting that he fantasized about beating, raping and shooting a ‘nigger’ in the head.
J.H. says O’Neill drive her to the back of a school, where he sexually assaulted her by, among other things, rubbing his gun against her pelvis and inner thigh, forcing her to touch the gun so “if she fought him, he would be able to shoot her and claim that she had grabbed his gun,” penetrating her with his fingers, forcibly giving her oral sex, and ejaculating on her “backside.”
Then he took her phone number and drove her back to her neighborhood, according to the complaint. She says part of the assault was captured on the school’s video cameras, and that before this assault, another Philadelphia police officer who had sexually assaulted a woman in a city-owned vehicle “was promoted.”
O’Neill was never charged with a crime and retired with all his benefits, according to the complaint.
Attorney Zeff added: “If even half of what she alleged is accurate, it’s outrageous.” Philadelphia Police declined to comment.
J.H. seeks punitive damages for civil rights violations, including state-created danger, failure to train, false imprisonment and battery.