Federal lawsuit accuses Lexington police officer of rape

jkegley@herald-leader.comDecember 7, 2012 

A Lexington police officer charged with misconduct for allegedly receiving sexual favors from a woman is now being accused of raping her.

In a lawsuit filed in federal court, April Stinson seeks an undetermined amount of damages from the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government and Lexington police Sgt. Robert Dale Brown. The lawsuit also names Mayor Jim Gray and Police Chief Ronnie Bastin as defendants.

Stinson claims in the lawsuit that she was sexually assaulted by Brown, who was suspended without pay this summer after allegations surfaced that he drove Stinson to a remote location Dec. 9, 2011, and had sexual contact with her.

According to arrest warrants, Brown did not file charges against Stinson following the sexual contact despite finding drug paraphernalia in her purse.

Brown was criminally charged with one count of first-degree official misconduct and two counts of second-degree official misconduct, all misdemeanors, for violating codes of conduct. Brown's criminal charges do not include charges of rape or sexual assault.

Brown could not be reached for comment Friday. Louisville attorney Steve Schroering, who is representing Brown in the misconduct case, said he had not seen the federal lawsuit and could not comment on it Friday night.

Stinson's attorney, Bryce Caldwell of Lexington, said the complaint speaks for itself.

According to the lawsuit, Brown handcuffed Stinson and placed her under arrest "for an alleged public intoxication violation."

Rather than taking her to jail, Brown allegedly drove Stinson to a vehicle tow yard, where he allowed her to retrieve medication from her vehicle. He then drove her to "a remote, concealed location in Fayette County ... for the purpose of sexually assaulting and forcibly raping" her, the lawsuit said.

After the incident, he dropped Stinson off at her brother's house rather than taking her to jail, the lawsuit said.

Stinson claimed the city, Bastin and Gray violated her rights by failing to properly train and supervise Brown.

City spokeswoman Susan Straub said she could not comment on pending litigation.

Brown's pending criminal misconduct charges also stemmed from failing to file charges against a man found with pills in his pocket; Brown is accused of arresting the man instead for driving on a suspended license, even though he did not witness the traffic infraction, another warrant said.

Brown has been a police officer for more than 10 years with no disciplinary actions against him until the situations with Stinson and the man.

Stinson is seeking attorney fees and a jury trial as well as punitive damages.

Josh Kegley: (859) 231-3197. Twitter: @HLpublicsafety.

Lexington Herald-Leader is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service