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N.J. State trooper accuses superior officer of sexually assaulting, impregnating her

By Chris Megerian/Statehouse Bureau

December 02, 2009, 6:53PM

TRENTON -- A New Jersey state trooper has filed a federal civil lawsuit saying she was sexually assaulted and impregnated by a superior officer.

Trooper Alexis Hayes accused Lt. Thomas King, a 26-year veteran, of getting her drunk, obtaining a key to her hotel room, assaulting her and leaving her pregnant while they were on assignment in April with other troopers in Pittsburgh.

Read a copy of the lawsuit

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Camden, alleges "repeated acts of sexual misconduct" that started four years ago, when Hayes was an academy recruit.

None of the charges was properly examined during internal investigations, according to the lawsuit. At one point, a lieutenant colonel allegedly told Hayes, 29, to "bear up with the imperfect conditions" and "go about her duties."

In a statement, State Police spokesman Capt. Gerald Lewis said the division "treats any allegation of misconduct very seriously. As with all allegations of misconduct, these allegations will be vigorously and thoroughly investigated."

Lewis said King is on administrative leave with pay.

Hayes has been on paid sick leave since August after suffering a nervous breakdown, said her lawyer, William Buckman.

The seven-count lawsuit asks for a trial by jury and an independent monitor to oversee the State Police’s internal affairs unit.

"Its internal affairs mechanisms are not impartial and not up to the task to objectively look at the problems," Buckman said. "There’s still some very disturbing cultural aspects."

The attorney, who has filed numerous discrimination lawsuits against the State Police in the last decade, said young, female troopers like Hayes remain vulnerable and victimized within the agency.

"The apparent prevalence of sexual harassment in the organization has not abated," he said. "Hayes happens to just be one of the people who came forward because she couldn’t hold it in anymore."

Hayes graduated from the State Police academy in 2005. During her time there, she allegedly was harassed by Sgt. Christine Shallcross, an instructor and a 14-year veteran, according to the lawsuit.

Shallcross, 43, demeaned Hayes as a "peanut," drew on her face with a black permanent marker and "stabbed" another female trooper with the marker, "leaving a bruise," according to the lawsuit.

After Hayes graduated, Shallcross, allegedly made advances by whispering in her ear and kissing her on the cheek, the suit contends. Hayes’ lawsuit also says that despite being reported for disciplinary action, Shallcross was transferred into the internal affairs division.

"That speaks to an internal affairs operation that doesn’t really seem to want to screen people to make sure they’re objective," Buckman said.

Hayes eventually joined a tactical patrol unit that handles traffic enforcement. According to the lawsuit, King, then an acting captain and Hayes’ superior officer, "bombarded" her with messages and unannounced visits to her home.

In April, Hayes joined a 49-member detail sent to Pittsburgh to honor three city police officers killed in a shootout. One night during the trip, King, 49, ensured Hayes was drunk, then entered her hotel room and assaulted her, according to the lawsuit.

Buckman said there is a criminal investigation into the alleged sexual assault by Pennsylvania law enforcement. Officials from the Allegheny County Police Department could not be reached for comment.

Hayes became pregnant but had an abortion, according to the lawsuit. Despite her moral opposition to the practice, "she could not bear the thought of having a child by King," the lawsuit reads. Buckman said Hayes knows the child was King’s because she was having only protected sex with her husband.

On two other occasions after the alleged sexual assault, King made sexual advances on Hayes, despite her pleas for him to leave her alone, according to the lawsuit.

When Hayes discussed her trauma with the State Police’s employee-assistance program, an official in that program breached confidentiality by telling a lieutenant colonel about her allegations, according to the lawsuit.

The unnamed lieutenant colonel -- the division’s second-highest rank -- allegedly told her to "bear up."

In addition to seeking a trial, Hayes’ suit asks for compensatory damages and for King and Shallcross to be barred from law enforcement.

Lewis, the State Police spokesman, said he didn’t know if King and the other troopers named in the lawsuit are facing internal charges.


Comments

 (32 total)     RSS
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BEFootball2009
Posted by BEFootball2009
December 02, 2009, 3:49PM

Here we go. I am sure the Toopers union got the mass e-mail and the attacks on the alleged victim will start in 3....2.....1...... go!

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realnjguy
Posted by realnjguy
December 02, 2009, 4:02PM

Here we go. Both will retire, one on medical Disability and the other with a 100k a year pension until he dies in 55 years, and there will be a settlement to be picked up by the taxpayers. How long is the female on sick leave for? Oh wait-- they get unlimited. STATE EMPLOYEES...SHEESH......(Nevermind--these are the STATE EMPLOYEES THAT EVERYONE DEFENDS)

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Bloedsinn
Posted by Bloedsinn
December 02, 2009, 4:05PM

First he got her drunk ( I suppose he held his weapon to her head and forced her to drink).
Then he obtained a room key ( by disguising himself as a woman).
Then he forced himself upon her (preventing her from defending herself or using her weapon to protect her, or shouting out).
Then she got an abortion ( distroying evidence).
If she was raped she should have gone to a medical examination immediately to obtain some bodily fluids to be used as evidence as she was taught at the academy.
Sounds like a bunch of hooey to get a fat check

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radicalreign
Posted by John
December 02, 2009, 8:54PM

If only she had called the police!

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fruddeja
Posted by Jason
December 03, 2009, 9:18AM

If it was only that easy.

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uniquebird
Posted by uniquebird
December 02, 2009, 4:13PM

nj taxpayers had nothing to do with this, but they get the bill. soemthing is desperately wrong with a law that allows this kind of stupidity to keep happening. this needs total shutdown.

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vivapr
Posted by vivapr
December 02, 2009, 4:55PM

The New Jersey State Police is out of control and it starts from the top. It is time for the Governor-elect to request the resignation of the top leadership of this organization.
The federal government needs to investigate this out of control agency. The consent decree needs to be re-instated.

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jm013
Posted by jm013
December 02, 2009, 4:59PM

A woman make false allegations?? This state continues to entertain them which just adds fuel to the fire. The true victims of these crimes are the only ones who suffer.

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kimmyakim
Posted by kimmyakim
December 02, 2009, 5:31PM

Amazing she doesn't want to take any responsibility for anything that happened to her or to others around her, but the again she is a cop. Is there even a rape case out there somewhere? The very best advise care from a lieutenant colonel in the State Police when he told her "she had to bear up with the imperfect conditions" and "go about her duties."

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msjucy13
Posted by Pink
December 02, 2009, 6:41PM

I have to agree with bloedsinn. How do you jump to a civil suit before filing a police report? I'd like to know did you ever report it in PA; they have to deal with the criminal charges. Somebody wants to retire early with a fat check.

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marywoodside
Posted by marywoodside
December 02, 2009, 7:05PM

State troopers are suppose to be the best in New Jersey?

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lpplpplpp
Posted by lpplpplpp
December 02, 2009, 7:10PM

It just seems strange. The Attorney General's Office mandates you hire these crackpots, the Attorney General's Office oversees everything the State Police does yet when something happens the State Police leadership is blamed. Doesn't anybody get it! Blame the Attorney General's Office, they are the ones that run the State Police and hired these crackpot troopers. The State Police no longer oversees itself and hasn't for years.

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videodummy
Posted by videodummy
December 02, 2009, 7:29PM

Must have been one hell of an assignment. And if it was an assignment-what were they doing drinking? I mean aside from the sex ?

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randyright
Posted by randyright
December 02, 2009, 7:32PM

this is what many state police employees put up with daily, the best thing that happened to the SP since 1921 was when Joe Santiago was put in charge. the troopers hated him but he was fixing many of these problems.

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overtaxed12
Posted by overtaxed12
December 02, 2009, 7:45PM

First she is picked on by a lesbian grafitti artist, then she is impregnated by a supervisor during a drunken romp? Sounds like a professional victim to me, looking for her payday.

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judisa3
Posted by judisa3
December 02, 2009, 8:05PM

Such a bizzare story...but she'll get what she wants in the end. The hiring of these lazy people has got to stop.

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zodiacmindwarp
Posted by zodiacmindwarp
December 02, 2009, 9:19PM

SOunds like she is making this up. Sounds like a racial issue

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jmjral
Posted by jmjral
December 02, 2009, 9:27PM

This person is allowed to carry a weapon ?????????

She knows how to arrest someone but not how to keep her legs closed.

Additionally, 49 Troopers were sent on assignment (overnight) to attend to the funerals of these other officers ?? Absurd.

J

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dynastar14
Posted by dynastar14
December 02, 2009, 11:34PM

Agree with jmjral. 49 Troopers on the payroll to party? While police funerals are tragic these events are known to be a drunk fest. This story appears to confirm this.

Sounds like Hayes is a chronic disability party doll and her only role that night was to lay still on the pinball machine and she screwed that up too.

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JadhaSin
Posted by Jadha Sin
December 03, 2009, 1:52AM

Sounds like when the affair with her supervisor went bad she decided to cash in. If this had been a real sexual assault she would have filed charges immediately. Hummmm......I hope the state fully investigates Hayes before paying her millions of dollars from tax payer money....she sounds like a gold digging wack job

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