Woman who alleged rape by Harrison County deputy files suit

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A Dallas County woman who alleges a Harrison County deputy sheriff raped her in March while he was transporting her between jails has filed a civil rights lawsuit, the Longview News-Journal reported.

The woman, listed as Jane Doe in the complaint, filed the suit July 25 in federal court in Marshall against Roger “Chilly” Valentine, Harrison County, and the Sheriffs’ Association of Texas.

Michelle Simpson Tuegel, an attorney for the accuser, told the newspaper that Valentine was already under investigation for sexual misconduct when he resigned from the Gregg County Sheriff’s Office and then got hired in Harrison County. He has since resigned from his deputy position in Harrison County.

Tuegel also said that sending only one officer to move people in custody violates protocol. Valentine, 53, transported the woman by himself from Linda Woodman State Jail in Gatesville to Harrison County Jail in Marshall on March 22.

The lawsuit alleges Valentine raped the plaintiff in a gas station bathroom when she asked to stop for a restroom break during the trip of more than four hours. The suit asks for $2 million in damages.

The suit blames the Sheriffs’ Association of Texas for failing to investigate the sexual misconduct claim against Valentine in Gregg County. Records from the jail there show that a female employee complained that Valentine grabbed her buttocks while they were in on a jail elevator and asked her to touch his groin area, the newspaper reported.

The complaint also said Harrison County “failed to adequately screen potential hires or conduct background checks to ensure the safety of inmates.”

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