Chicago officer sues former police chief for sexual assault

Chicago police Officer Cynthia Donald on Thursday, having filed a lawsuit against former police superintendent Eddie Johnson (AP)
Chicago police Officer Cynthia Donald on Thursday, having filed a lawsuit against former police superintendent Eddie Johnson (AP)

A police officer in Chicago has filed a lawsuit against the city’s former superintendent for an alleged sexual assault.

Cynthia Donald said the attack took place on a night out with the former police head, Eddie Johnson, in October 2019.

According to the lawsuit, it was among multiple advances he made on the officer over a three year period after she was assigned to work for him.

She also alleged that Johnson pressured her to engage in sexual acts and even texted nude photos of himself to her between 2016 and 2019.

In one incident, the lawsuit described Johnson forcing Ms Donald onto a couch, where he pulled her pants down without her consent and engaged in a sex act, telling her, “Now you know you belong to me.”

“Superintendent Johnson used his position of power and authority over Plaintiff to pressure her into engaging in these sexual acts by conditioning her employment and advancements within (the Chicago Police Department) upon her submission to unwanted and unwelcomed sexual activity, promising her promotions, and berating her whenever she summoned the courage to resist his advances, ” the lawsuit alleges.

The lawsuit also names the city of Chicago as a defendant, alleging that mayor Lori Lightfoot “exacerbated the hostile work environment” by forcing Johnson to relocate Ms Donald away from Chicago Police Department headquarters.

Ms Lightfoot, whose office described the lawsuit’s revelations as “inexcusable”, could not provide further comment on the allegations.

Johnson was fired as superintendent in December 2019 by the mayor, after media reports and surveillance video from a Chicago bar revealed he had been drinking heavily before he was found slumped behind the wheel of his car.

Shortly after he was fired, Johnson released a statement through his attorney acknowledging that he’d made a “poor decision” but maintained he did not “intentionally mislead or deceive” anyone.

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