$2.5M settlement approved in Milwaukee officer’s rape case

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$2.5M settlement approved in Milwaukee officer’s rape caseMILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Common Council on Tuesday, February 7th approved a $2.5 million settlement for a former Milwaukee police officer’s rape victim.

Ladmarald Cates is serving a 24-year prison sentence after he was convicted of raping a woman in 2010 while on duty.

Ladmarald Cates

Ladmarald Cates

Cates was found guilty of raping a woman while responding to her 911 call on July 16th, 2010. A letter from the Milwaukee city attorney says the woman called police because bricks had been thrown through her windows.

The rape happened when Cates was alone with the woman.

The woman was arrested at her home in connection with the arrest of her brother, but she was eventually taken to a hospital for treatment concerning the sexual assault, and then released.

“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,” Robin Shellow, the woman’s attorney said.

Shellow said 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.

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

Cates admitted the two had sex, but always said it was consensual. He was fired from the Milwaukee Police Department in December of 2010.

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.

Jurors deliberated three hours before delivering a split verdict in the case. They found Cates not guilty of using a firearm in a crime of violence.

The victim filed a civil rights lawsuit against the City of Milwaukee.

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 letter from the city attorney says a January 9th, 2017 trial was set regarding the victim’s civil rights lawsuit in this case — but mediation resulted in the $2.5 million settlement that’s now been approved.