Woman sues city of Trinity alleging assault by officer during incarceration

By Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau | Apr 13, 2010

MARSHALL-Shortly after being arrested and taken to jail, Krista Marie Libby alleges a male police officer sexually assaulted her.

Alleging violations of her civil rights, Libby filed a lawsuit on March 31 against Lynn Gentry, the former chief of police of the city of Trinity, Officer Alex J. Howard, Police Chief Steven Jones and the city of Trinity.

The lawsuit was filed in the Marshall federal court of the Eastern District of Texas.

Libby alleges Officer Howard made sexual advances toward her and eventually forced himself on her, saying that he would help her if she performed sexual acts on him. The plaintiff states her Fourth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments were violated by the actions of the defendants.

The suit states the chief of police should have known Officer Howard was unfit for duty as a police officer and that it was against policies and procedures to allow a male officer to have unsupervised contact with a female held in custody.

The plaintiff states that the defendants failed to appropriately investigate and act upon the complaints of sexual misconduct, subjecting her to abuse and harassment.

Causes of action filed against the defendants included depravation of civil rights, assault and battery, civil conspiracy, negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and cruel and unusual punishment.

The plaintiff is seeking damages for physical pain and suffering, physical and mental pain and suffering, mental anguish, interest, attorneys' fees and punitive damages.

Attorney Mance Michael Park of Park & Durham, Attorneys At Law in Huntsville is representing the plaintiff.

U.S. District Judge T. John Ward is assigned to the litigation.

Case No 2:10cv00114

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