Three now-former Baton Rouge police officers already facing criminal charges stemming from an incident last year involving a woman and an alleged sex act at a local park are now defendants in a civil lawsuit filed by the woman.
Her attorney, Carl Babin, confirmed Wednesday that the suit was filed under seal a day earlier and assigned to state District Judge Wilson Fields. Babin said he could not discuss the suit.
Online East Baton Rouge Parish Clerk of Court records show the three ex-officers — Isaac M. Bolden, Emerson J. Jackson and Travis D. Wheeler — are defendants in a suit filed Tuesday. Babin said the city-parish, as the former officers’ ex-employer, also is a defendant.
Bolden, 40, Jackson, 32, and Wheeler, 27, were indicted in November on abuse of office charges related to the alleged Feb. 4 incident at Old Hammond Park. All three have pleaded not guilty.
The charges accuse Bolden of forcing the woman to perform a sex act on him at the BREC park while all three officers were on duty and in uniform.
John DiGiulio, who represents Bolden and previously labeled the woman’s accusations absolutely untrue, alleged Wednesday that her actions are being driven by a “financial motive.” Her suit seeks damages.
Jackson and Wheeler are accused of forcing the woman’s male companion to exit the park, leaving her alone with the officers.
Jackson’s attorney, Tommy Damico, said he intends to fight the suit just as vigorously as the criminal charges.
“My client was not involved nor did he see any improper actions by any police officer,” he said, adding that Jackson was the last officer to arrive on the scene.
Wheeler’s attorney, Harry Daniels III, said he welcomed the civil suit.
“We’ll have more vehicles to discover the truth now and show he’s innocent of these allegations,” Daniels said.
East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore III has said his office agrees with the grand jury’s decision.
An abuse of office conviction carries possible prison time of up to five years, but probation is a possible sentence.