Henderson County encouraged misconduct of police, suit alleges

Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau Oct. 6, 2010, 2:48pm

TYLER-A Henderson County resident has filed a lawsuit against the county, arguing it tolerated misconduct by its officers and encouraged the misconduct by not punishing or training its officers.

Heather Riddoch filed suit against police officer Ronald J. Henry and Henderson County on Sept. 14 in Henderson County District Court. The defendant removed the case to the federal Eastern District of Texas, Tyler Division on Sept. 29.

Riddoch states she was sexually harassed, assaulted and battered by a Henderson County police officer on Sept. 16, 2008, while the officer was on duty.

Officer Henry is accused of intentional infliction of emotional distress and invasion of privacy by intentionally or recklessly harassing and humiliating Riddoch by touching her in a sexually harassing manner.

She argues the county had a policy or custom that enabled its employees to act with deliberate indifference to the constitutional rights of individuals.

The plaintiff is asking for $75,000 in actual and punitive damages, court costs and interest.

Riddoch is represented by Jeffrey L. Weinsten of Weinstein Law Firm in Athens. Jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Michael H. Schneider is assigned to the case.

Case No. 6:10cv00511

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