Woman Accuses Retired Chicago Cop of Repeated Sexual Assaults Decades Ago

Trina “Kim” Townsend

The monthly meeting of the Chicago Police Board was moving along at its usual dry, brisk pace last month with members quickly dispatching with the minutes of the last meeting, the superintendent’s report and a vote on the latest round of officer discipline.

Speakers who had registered ahead of time then addressed the board. Two repeated previous calls for the firing of a cop. Another urged Mayor Rahm Emanuel to resign over police abuses.

Then Trina “Kim” Townsend, 50, walked to the microphone and asked permission to read her statement into the record. In a steady voice, she publicly shared details of a secret she said she had closely guarded for the most part for three decades.

As the hushed crowd of about 50 residents and police officers looked on, Townsend accused a now-retired Chicago cop by name of repeatedly raping her over several years after she had turned to him for help because she was already being molested by a family member.

He “sexually assaulted me on a near monthly basis,” she said. “He was always on duty. He was always in the patrol car. Always in uniform. And he always took me to the same area.”

Later, in an interview with the Tribune, Townsend said she first began thinking about going public with her story about half a year ago after the name of her alleged attacker came up in a conversation she had with another Chicago police officer who knew him. Her resolve grew, she said, after so many women came forward in recent months to detail their own accounts of sexual harassment and abuse. For the first time, Townsend said, she realized she wasn’t the only one who had kept quiet out of fear she wouldn’t be believed.

As a result of Townsend’s public accusations, the Police Department’s Bureau of Internal Affairs has launched a criminal investigation, said spokesman Anthony Guglielmi, though any legal avenues would seem closed because of the passage of time and the statute of limitations.

Advocates for victims of sexual assault praised Townsend’s courage for going public, especially because she was accusing a former law enforcement member. They said her story deserves a thorough investigation and illustrates the struggles that so many victims endure.

“If nothing has been made clear to us in the past six months, it is that there has been a historic reluctance to report” rapes and harassment, said Kaethe Morris Hoffer, executive director of the Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation. “It only takes common sense to see it would be astronomically more intimidating to contemplate an accusation against a member of the organization that investigates it.”

At the Police Board meeting, Townsend said the assaults started in 1981 when she was just 14 and continued for another four years.

When she spoke at greater length to the Tribune about a week later, though, she said she believed the assaults took place in the late 1980s, which would have put her in her late teens and early 20s.

At the Tribune’s request, an attorney advising Townsend provided the names of five people to whom she said she had confided over the years her story about the officer’s assaults. Reporters were able to talk to three of them, including one friend who said Townsend told her when both were in their early 20s that an officer had repeatedly sexually assaulted her.

The attorney, Jeanette Samuels, also said that since the Police Board meeting, she has spoken to a second woman who said the same officer groped her during about the same time period that Townsend said she was abused.

The officer, who is now retired, could not be reached for comment. The Tribune is not naming him because he has not been criminally charged with wrongdoing.

For full story visit: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-met-chicago-cop-decades-old-rape-allegations-20180202-story.html

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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 5618 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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