DETROIT (WWJ) – Accused of sexually assaulting a teenage girl 25 years ago, a metro Detroit police chief is facing a federal lawsuit.
Pleasant Ridge Police Chief Kevin Nowak is one of four police officers who a woman claims sexually assaulted her when she was in a youth program at the Garden City Police Department.READ MORE: Michigan Won't Go Further Than Federal Vaccine, Testing Rule
According to the suit, it happened in 1990 when the alleged victim was only 15 years old.
“Who gets into a police explorer program to learn about law enforcement and then expects to be sexually assaulted by the police officers that you have your trust in?” said attorney Lyle Dickson, who represents the complainant.
“This victim was allowed to ride with several police officers, and they abused their authority and sexually assaulted her — not only on duty, but in the police station, in their patrol cars, and in their personal homes.”
The plaintiff has been “deprived of the right to pursue a career path of her choice and live a fruitful life and continues to suffer severe medical and emotional distress as a sexual assault victim,” the lawsuit states.
Dickson said the assault drove his client to drugs.READ MORE: 2 Arrested After Couple Killed In Car With Baby Inside
“She’s clean, we’ve got her in counseling, and I can tell you her medical records do support all the allegations within the complaint.”
But has too much time passed?
“We believe the stature of limitations are stayed on her mental condition; noting the fact that she did not know, and could not know she had the right to initiate a lawsuit,” Dickson said.
Nowack has denied any wrongdoing
The three other defendants named in the lawsuit are Mark D’Onofrio, Rick Sundstrom and Thomas Wallace. Three additional people are charged with either knowing about it and covering it up.
“Here you are, 15 years old, wanting a career in law enforcement, and then you’re sexually abused, literally by a quarter of the police department that’s your hometown,” Dickson said. “And, so I think a jury will find that her reactions are only a result of her victimization by these police officers.”MORE NEWS: Fourth Stimulus Check: Will You See Another Relief Payment?
The victim is seeking $75,000 in damages.