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Former Crime Analyst Sues Independence Police Chief For Sexual Assault

Independence Police Department

A former crime analyst with the Independence, Missouri, Police Department is suing Chief Brad Halsey and the city for sexual harassment and assault.

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in Jackson County Circuit Court, alleges six years of unwanted, "sexually charged" incidents carried out against her by multiple co-workers beginning in 2007.

The accuser is named in the lawsuit, but she has requested KCUR not use her name. It is KCUR's policy not to identify victims in cases of sexual harassment or violence.

The harassment culminated in an alleged assault in May 2013 that ultimately led the plaintiff to quit her job, according to the lawsuit. 

In the incident, the woman alleges that Halsey, then her supervisor, asked her to adjust his tie, then "placed his hands on her buttocks and pulled her into his fully erect penis" after he followed her to her desk and asked if his pants were too tight, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit alleges she reported that and other incidents to her superiors but nothing was done. In 2007, when civilian employee Jim Lencheioni allegedly hit the plaintiff on the buttocks and made a derogatory comment, the suit says she informed Deputy Chief John Maine but no action was taken.

As a result of the six years of alleged misconduct, the woman says she suffered "severe emotional distress."

"Defendant Halsey's conduct was so outrageous in character and so extreme in degree, as to go beyond all possible bounds of decency, and to be regarded as atrocious and utterly intolerable in civilized community," the lawsuit states.

Independence Police did not respond to a request for comment.

Meg Lewis, a spokesperson for the city said in a written statement that the city won't comment on the lawsuit, but that, due to the "serious nature of the allegations," an investigation is underway, though its findings won't be made public.

The plaintiff is seeking $500,000 in actual damages and unspecified punitive damages. 

Andrea Tudhope is a reporter for KCUR 89.3. Email her at andreat@kcur.org, and follow her on Twitter @_tudhope.

Andrea Tudhope is an award-winning multimedia journalist based in Kansas City, Missouri. She is currently coordinating producer for America Amplified, a national public media community engagement initiative funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. 
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