Woman Sues City Over Sexual Assault By Cop

The woman who accused a Houston police officer of sexually assaulting her during a traffic stop is now suing the city for, among other things, failing to "properly screen, identify and eliminate recruits with the propensity to commit violent sexual acts," according to the lawsuit filed last week in federal court.

"Had the City of Houston exercised reasonable supervision it would have acted preemptively to prevent the foreseeable actions of Officer [Eric] Dargin," the lawsuit states. "The statements by officers who interviewed [the victim] after the attack demonstrate the Department's prior knowledge of Officer Dargin's sexual propensities."

The sexual assault occurred in May 2007 when Dargin, a 24-year veteran with the police department, stopped a 25-year-old woman and discovered she had traffic warrants. He pinned her against his patrol car, the lawsuit says, and sexually assaulted her.

"Being disgusted, confused, and fearful for her life, [the woman] begged Officer Dargin to please stop," the lawsuit says. "He then looked up with a smirk on his face and continued with the sexual assault."

When another vehicle approached, Dargin got in his car and left, according to the lawsuit.

Dargin was suspended by the police department and eventually charged with the assault. He has since retired.

The police department would not comment on the case because of the pending litigation.

The woman's attorney, Jeffrey DeSandro, was not immediately available for comment, either. The lawsuit doesn't detail how much money she wants, it only requests actual and punitive damages.

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Paul Knight
Contact: Paul Knight