Woman assaulted by Milwaukee police officer files civil lawsuit

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Ladmarald Cates

Ladmarald Cates

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- She was sexually assaulted by former Milwaukee police officer Ladmarald Cates in July 2010. Now, the victim has filed a civil lawsuit against Cates, the Milwaukee Police Department, Police Chief Ed Flynn and the city of Milwaukee.

"She can't trust the police, and she's terrified all the time," the woman's attorney, Robin Shellow told FOX6 News.

Cates was found guilty in January 2012 of raping the 19-year-old woman while responding to her 911 call back in 2010. Cates admitted the two had sex, but always said it was consensual.

"She comes running out of her house saying 'I`ve been raped. I`ve been raped by a police officer.' At that point, the response of the Milwaukee Police Department was to arrest her," Shellow said.

Shellow says the woman told police officers at District 3 about the rape, but they did not believe her.

"She complained when she was being fingerprinted. She was crying. She was hysterical. 'I`ve been raped. I`ve been raped by a police officer.' Their response was to throw her in a cell for 11 hours," Shellow said.

The lawsuit says when the woman was taken to the hospital, a nurse found evidence of strangulation and sexual assault.

Cates was fired from the Milwaukee Police Department in December of 2010.

"We investigated the case. We made a finding and terminated his employment. We referred it to prosecution. He was successfully prosecuted on the basis of our investigation and he is now in jail. Beyond that I really can`t comment," Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn said.

In July 2012, a federal judge sentenced Cates to 24 years in prison plus three more years of supervised release for the crime. Cates had faced a maximum of life in prison.

The lawsuit alleges the "City of Milwaukee knew that Cates had a history of violent assaults on women. Yet despite that knowledge, Cates was permitted to retain his employment." It goes on to say, "The City of Milwaukee had exposed the mothers and daughters of Milwaukee to Cates, clothing him in the authority to use force."

The lawsuit just filed indicates the victim has "suffered and continues to suffer great pain of mind and body, shock, emotional distress, physical manifestations of emotional distress, embarrassment, loss of self-esteem, disgrace, humiliation and loss of enjoyment of life." It says she has "sustained loss of earnings and earning capacity, and has incurred and will continue to incur expenses for medical, emotional and mental health treatment."

The Milwaukee Police Department said in a brief statement, "We are unable to comment when there is pending legal action."

"Rape is a crime of power and it`s Chief Flynn and the City of Milwaukee that invested that officer with the power and their response is too little, too late and it is an embarrassment," Shellow said.

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