A lawsuit filed in federal court alleges the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office committed misconduct and rape in the case of a woman who was in custody in the Lincoln County Jail in 2016.
The alleged victim is suing Sheriff John Cottle, along with several deputies, and says a Taser was used on her. Complaints of inappropriate behavior by those deputies were not reported to supervisors, according to the complaint, and evidence of the events was not preserved.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation launched an investigation of those allegations in 2017, according to the plaintiff's lawyer, John James, and the Sheriff's Office.
Out of fear of retaliation from the Sheriff's Office, the plaintiff is filing her compliant under a pseudonym.
The plaintiff's lawsuit stems from a domestic disturbance call from November 2016, when she was arrested by Lincoln County deputies and taken to the jail after a fight with her husband.
The complaint says that the deputies told her they would need to arrest one of them due to a “12-hour rule” policy for any case that involves multiple domestic calls in a short amount of time. She claims that she told them to arrest her instead of her husband.
Once she arrived in the booking area, she claims she was thrown on the floor, Tased, and left in a restraint chair for hours. After that, she says, she was taken to another room and raped by “multiple” unnamed employees of the sheriff’s department and then taken to a cell.
In a second incident in 2017, she claims that sheriff’s deputies were called to a home where she and her husband were being evicted. She says that a deputy injured her while he attempted to put handcuffs on her and during the altercation she screamed that sheriff's office employees had sexually assaulted her “last time” she was arrested.
She is seeking monetary damages on several counts on negligence, excessive force and failure to report her complaint when she mentioned the alleged rape in 2017, as well as overlooking separate allegations when she accused a deputy of touching her inappropriately during a pat-down in the 2016 incident.
The identities of the Lincoln County Sheriff's Department employees accused of rape have not been disclosed in the complaint.
This is developing story. More information will be posted on lincolnnewsnow.com as it breaks.