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Woman Forced to Give On-Duty Florida Officer Oral Sex Awarded $20,000

by Christopher Zoukis

   A Florida woman who claimed that an on-duty police officer forced her to give him oral sex was awarded $20,000 after suing him in Broward County Circuit Court.

     On September 3, 2007, the 32-year-old woman had been arguing with her boyfriend near a gas station after midnight when three police officers arrived. The couple had parted ways when Officer Jonathan D. Sanders approached the woman in his marked vehicle. The woman complained that she didn't have any money, and claimed that Sanders said he would give her some money after stopping at an ATM.

     At around 1 a.m., the woman went behind the Dumpster of a closed McDonald's restaurant where she found Sanders urinating. She claimed that Sanders asked her to fellate him because he let her boyfriend leave earlier. She, being intoxicated, said that she thought she would be arrested if she didn't comply. Afterward, Sanders gave her $5 and threatened to arrest her if she told anyone.

     The woman called her estranged husband and told him what happened. Disregarding his advice to go to her father's apartment and call the police, she instead drank more beer and met with Sanders. She got $7 for a repeat.

     The woman's ex-husband reported the incident to the police, who immediately investigated. Sanders was placed on administrative leave before resigning. Sanders was charged with receiving unlawful compensation while on duty and, after pleading guilty, spent 60 days in jail.

     The woman sued Sanders and the town of Davie for false imprisonment and battery. She claimed to be suffering irreparable mental anguish from the attacks. Sanders told investigators that he unzipped his pants behind the restaurant in order to urinate. Sanders and the woman both claimed that the other invited the sexual encounter. The town maintained that Sanders' acts fell outside the scope of his employment duties.

     The jury found against Officer Sanders, awarding the woman $20,000 in damages.

 See: Doe v. Town of Davie and Sanders, Broward County Circuit Court, 2009 Jury Verdicts LEXIS 422281 (Oct. 28, 2009)


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Related legal case

Doe v. Town of Davie and Sanders