Monday, March 17, 2014

BREAKING NEWS: Federal Lawsuit Against Rape Cover-Up Allowed to Continue Against City of Frankfort and Police Officials

The victim of an alleged rape will have her day in court and a subsequent cover-up will not be swept under the rug despite the best efforts of police and city officials from Frankfort, Indiana.  That's according to Federal Judge Sara Evans Barker in her March 14, 2014 ruling to a Motion to Dismiss by of the City of Frankfort.

Frankfort officials sued by Alleged Sexual Assault Victim
Judge Evans Barker ruled, in part:
"Count II of the lawsuit - Equal protection (“class of one” theory). The motions (to dismiss) are DENIED with respect to Defendants Robert Hession, Jason Albaugh, and Troy Bacon, and GRANTED with respect to all other defendants. Count II with respect to Defendants City of Frankfort, Frankfort Police Department, Rodney Smith, Eli Smith, Trey Crockett, Dakota Beard, Autumn Dick, Chris McBarnes, and Caira Bolen is dismissed WITH PREJUDICE."
The allegations in the lawsuit are quite shocking, and thankfully Gary Snyder of Indiana Talks has kept the story alive; otherwise, the injustices this teenager has suffered would likely be long forgotten.

What's more shocking is that the police officers involved in the alleged cover-up and civil rights violations are still employed by the City of Frankfort.  In fact, they have yet to be punished for their misdeeds.  Some Frankfort residents are calling for federal prosecutors to intervene, and rightfully so when you consider what has happened in this small community located 30 miles east of Lafayette.

The facts as laid out by Judge Evans Barker are as follows:


"Plaintiff was a resident of Frankfort, Indiana, at the time of the incidents recounted in the Complaint...She claims, broadly speaking, that she was victimized in two ways: first, when she suffered a sexual assault, and second when Frankfort city and police officials failed to respond adequately, allegedly conspiring with some of the perpetrators of the original sexual assault to mishandle the investigation, avoid charging any suspects, mistreat Plaintiff personally, and leave her feeling vulnerable to further assaults."

The Sexual Assault


"Plaintiff alleges that, while at the home of Defendant Caira Bolen in Frankfort, she was given 8 capsules of Klonopin, an anti-seizure medication that she had never taken before.  She took the pills, which have a powerful depressant effect in large doses, in order to "feel better..."

Plaintiff and Bolen then went to a party at 552 East Washington Street, Frankfort, a house owned by Defendant Eli Smith...After she entered the house, Defendants Dakota Beard and Trey Crockett, fellow party-goers, asked her to expose herself, and she refused.  Shortly thereafter, Rodney Smith, the son of Eli Smith, who is nicknamed "Boomer," offered her an "unknown substance" to drink; after drinking it, Plaintiff lost consciousness...

When Plaintiff regained consciousness, Defendants Beard, Eli Smith, Bolen, and Crockett were restraining her whjile Beard, Eli Smith, and Crockett sexually assaulted her.  Plaintiff asserts that her ability to resist the assault -- or to remember it in detail -- was hampered by the lingering effects of the Klonopin pills.  When she finally did escape their clutches as well as the party, Plaintiff succeeded in contacting her father for help; he in turn called 911 and requested emergency assistance...Plaintiff was transported to the hospital in Frankfort."

The Investigation and Aftermath


"The Frankfort Police Department dispatched Defendant Detective Robert Hession to the hospital to interview Plaintiff about the alleged assault.  According to Plaintiff, he turned off the customary tape recording of the interview well before it was over, and began to behave in a confrontational, inappropriate manner while off the record.  Hession allegedly told Plaintiff that the rape was her fault because she had dressed in a "provocative manner"; he further insinuated that she was "crying rape" because of race (some of her assailants were black, and Plaintiff is white)...

Hospital staff performed rape kit examinations on Plaintiff, and a nurse told her that she had suffered bruising and other injuries that usually occur only in instances of sexual assault...After Plaintiff's release from the hospital, Defendant Hession requested a second interview with her.  Plaintiff asked to have her hospital "Victim's Advocate" present at any new interview with Hession; Hession refused to accede to this request and did not perform a follow-up interview...
Plaintiff and her family grew concerned about the slow progress of the Frankfort Police Department's investigation and expressed concerns to both the Mayor of Frankfort, Defendant Chris McBarnes, and the Frankfort Police Chief, Defendant Tony Bacon.  More specifically, Plaintiff's father communicated to Bacon that both Hession and Defendant Jason Albaugh, a Frankfort Police Detective assigned to the matter, had personal contacts with the sexual assault suspects that had potentially compromised the integrity of the investigation...
According to Plaintiff, Albaugh's step-daughter, Defendant Autumn Dick, was in a long-term romantic relationship with Rodney "Boomer" Smith.  Plaintiff also alleges that Hession had maintained inappropriate personal relationships with Beard, "Boomer" Smith, and Crockett...

Police Chief Bacon responded to these concerns by agreeing with Plaintiff's family that she should have no further contact with Hession; he demurred from promising any concrete action regarding the investigation, stating that "he knew nothing about the detective side of the case, because he had never been a detective before."

When told of Hession's behavior and the possible conflicts of interest among the officers, Mayor McBarnes promised Plaintiff's father that the officers would be "punished," agreeing that the case had been mishandled...

Despite these assurances from the Mayor and the Police Chief, however, Plaintiff maintains that Defendants willfully impeded progress in the investigation of her assault and the prosecution of its perpetrators.  Contrary to Mayor McBarnes's assurances, the rape kit from the hospital was not delivered to the Indiana State Police crime lab until five weeks after the examination -- Plaintiff contends that this lapse greatly exceeds the standard practice in rape investigations...

The Frankfort Police never obtained a warrant to search the house at which the assault allegedly took place, nor did they ever collect any physical evidence from the site.  A tape recording of Defendant Crockett, one of the alleged assailants, admitting that Plaintiff was incapacitated and thus unable to consent to sexual intercourse on the night of the assault, which recording Plaintiff's father forwarded to Hession, was never submitted as evidence to the prosecutor's office...Neither Hession nor Albaugh was removed from his position heading the investigation, and, as of the filing of Plaintiff's Third Amended Complaint, the Frankfort Police had brought no charges against any of the alleged assailants...

Plaintiff claims that the misconduct of Hession, Albaugh, Bacon, McBarnes, the Frankfort Police Department, and the City of Frankfort (collectively, the "Frankfort Defendants") caused her harm that extends beyond the frustration and outrage of witnessing a fruitless investigation that yielded no prosecution for her assault.  She alleges that city and police officials verbally abused her, directing epithets at both her and her family...

According to Plaintiff, the official mishandling of her case propagated to a "blame the victim" attitude that caused her emotional and reputational harm, and led to incidents such as Defendant Caira Bolen's vandalism of her car...

Because the assailants have not been punished, Plaintiff relates that she feels unsafe in her community; she avoided high school graduation because several of the perpetrators would be present, and she changed her plans to attend Vincennes University because defendant Eli Smith is a student there..."

Citizens Forced to File Civil Lawsuits When Justice is Not Blind


Even if this teenager prevails in federal court, justice will remain elusive as long as the perpetrators are not held criminally liable for their actions.   In Lafayette, Tim Vander Plaats was forced to file a civil suit against alleged civil rights violation by Lafayette police officers, because the criminal justice failed him as well.

Justice was not blind in either case.  That's not the way it's supposed to be. Citizens and victims deserve much better.

Let this be another lesson in yet another case of corruption in small town America.  Do not trust the police, and when you're traveling through Lafayette or Frankfort, Indiana, don't forget your video cameras.  You'll need the protection should you have the misfortune of being stopped by the police.  Yes, there are good police officers, but since the bad apples remain part of the force, don't take chances with your safety.

35 comments:

  1. http://www.indianatalks.com/2013/07/15/11-rapes-reported-in-last-18-months-in-frankfort-in-only-1-arrest/
    We know the police in this town don't care about rape victims, they've proven it to us time and again. My friend was raped, and it took ten years to get a conviction. And the only reason it happened is because she refused to stop asking about the investigation.

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  2. Frankfort Police Department has been corrupt for as long as I can remember from targeting certain people illegal stops and who are YOU to question HIS authority? HUMMM the one paying you to harass anyone you so choose, I believe its time for the Justice Department Get involved like they Did in New Orleans La, when they had such a corrupt Police Force, And what about the Police Man who ALLEGADLY haha stole well Over 140.000.00, and was found to be in possession of the Bank Bags and deposit receipts in his home and in his personal car? He sitting at Home drawing his regular pay. Why do we suspend these guys with pay? So when they are found guilty they basically stole even more money by knowing they where guilty and collecting the money, Why not deposit this money into a interest bearing account until their case is resolved? if they are found INNOCENT by all means pay them their back wages, if Not put the money back into the local government including the interest...As for Rob Hession he is and always has been the BIGGEST BULLY on the FRANKFORT Police Department....also is he NOT the Cop that let his Child Fall from a moving Police car here a few years back???? Not 100% sure he is the one but seems to me it was, nothing done about that either, If one digs deep enough far back enough you'll be greatly surprised at what you'll find. I vote that Police Officers should be duly elected as most every other government representatives, Its Time to Start cleaning up the police department get rid of the bad cops, the ones who believe that badge we the people pay for are to harass and trump up charges against people and yes its happened 2 times to a family member and wound up being dropped in THE BEST INTEREST of the STATE... But One year later its LIKE where's The 3500.00 Bail Money? Oh that well we paid for your attorney took out court fees docket fees, we will mail you the remainder of 244.00 Humm again had this relative not have been wrongfully arrested I would not have had to post a 3500.00 bond there would have been no Attorney fees or any other fees. and according to State Law if charges are dropped by the State of Ind for any reason they by law can not with hold one penny of any bond Monies but forth, Ex-Judge Pearson got sued in The Supreme Court Of Indiana and lost both Cases. But when It came to out 3500.00 guess it didn't apply because he was in his 2nd term as Judge, All I can Say is CORRUPT CORRUPT CORRPUT .This is the reason for the anonymous comment, .

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    1. i do believe you are correct on the child falling out of the car, but it wasnt one child it was both if i remember right. Both were in front seat not buckled up

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    2. Was not Hession

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  3. This is sad. ..I know Jason Albaugh personally...FPD definitely mishandled the case. ..but I can guarantee you that it was not to cover for Boomer. ..Jason is a good man...is he human? Yes...but he is a good police officer. ..I respect him. I hope justice is served for this girl.

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    1. It was to cover for all of the assailants. It explains his moral compass!!! Now Boomer has a man laid up in the hospitol after waiting on the man to come out of the bar this past saturday night. Then hit him over the head with a cement block. Chambers is the victim. And he may not live, and Boomer NOT in jail????? So if not protection for Boomer, it sure looks like this menace to society IS being given the right to rape, kill and do as he pleases with no fear of arrest!!!

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  4. This town is absurdly ridiculous!!! FIRE THEM ALL! Give that poor girl the justice her family and her deserve!! So glad to have moved out of that shit hole town when I did!

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    1. Fire them all.. really.. group the bad ones with the good ones?! Ignorant.

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  5. Long time coming Frankfort lets reclaim our town. Time to clean up the city. Lets start with the police department 80% of it is corrupt

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  6. I wasn't raped but I was beaten at a bar up town and suffered multiple broken bones in my face but after finding out who the man was the police officer wanted to take me to jail for public intoxication if I pursued it. Went to Anthony Summers the following Monday and no charges were ever filed. I hate the injustices in this town

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  7. I ended up moving away from Frankfort BC of all the bs corruption & corrupt police officers. The drug problem there is ridiculous, and the criminals are running around scotch-free. Maybe next time the city won't vote a 26 year old, and wont vote to win a popularity contest. Glad this rape-case truth has finally made it public. Frankforts mayor & police force do nothing to help others. Only to get themselves paid.

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  8. like someone else said fired them all and if the mayor was part of having knowledge of it get him out of there too ..Frankfort has had trouble for a long long time with the police department

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  9. This whole thing makes me sick. They need to wipe everyone out of their positions from officers to mayor. I have witnessed first hand the police watching the home of the victim's father and following people after leaving his house....they did it to me. You guys are talking about these boys who did the crime. We all know their parents and know the type of role models they have had in their lives and how much discipline they lacked in their lives. ALL GARBAGE!!! I don't care who I upset over this and I am not going to remain anonymous. There is a track record of bad behavior and illegal activities from these boys. You all think you are untouchable? Is a college degree really going to cover up who you really are? I don't think so. I know a few of your mothers personally so I know that there were no guidelines you really had to follow when you were a child. Your days are numbered. You are running out of time. Enjoy your freedom while you can. Justice will be served. I hope they are hard on you guys I really do because this is a serious crime and you ALL make me sick. I will be praying that your children will grow up with the morals, values, and respect that were never instilled in you as children. May God have mercy on your souls. Jennifer Cox

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  10. This whole case makes me sick to my stomach! I have seen first hand how FPD and the mayor have handled this case. Love it when I go visit the victim's family how police are watching their houses and end up following you when you leave. I think everyone involved should be fired from police to the mayor. It is way overdue, time to take the trash out and start fresh. You guys are seriously demented and I hope and pray God has mercy on your souls. As far as the guys who committed the rape your time is running out. Enjoy your freedom while you can. You are all nothing but trouble and a college degree won't hide who or what you really are. We all know your parents, I know a couple personally and I have empathy for the fact that you had a rough upbringing...but that doesn't change the fact that we all make our own choices in life. You made your beds and believe me you will lie in them soon enough. Most of these boys already have violent and illegal track records. Believe me I don't live there anymore and I still here about the "GARBAGE" of Frankfort. To the guys who committed the assault I pray that your children will grow up with the morals, respect, and values that were never taught to you as children and they will make better decisions in life so they turn out nothing like you. To the victim I pray for strength, courage, and love to get past this and move on. You are a beautiful person inside and out. I am proud to say I know you and I love you. I don't want to remain anonymous because I have nothing to hide. This is how I feel and if you don't like it I really could care less. I know you would feel the same if the victim was someone close to you. Jennifer Cox

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  11. Frankfort is a joke and I'm glad I'm not living there anymore. Good luck to those of you who still do...

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  12. They won't arrest the criminal but they love to arrest and harass the innocent!

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  13. My Uncle Kenny was MURDERED in Frankfort in October 2013 and guess what? The perps are still running around. More than likely, since the case wasn't handled properly, they will get away with smashing his head in on the pavement, in the middle of nowhere, and then leaving him there to die. He didn't make it to his mother's funeral the next day that he had traveled all that way for.

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    1. This sounds eerily similar to another guy on his way home from Lebanon

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  14. I am from Frankfort and have had my fair share of run ins with Hesson and Albaugh and both play very dirty and going by the names I can see he should have never been on the case... I know first hand that Albaugh will do whatever he can to cover this and keep himself and others involved clear I hope he looses his badge and not a shocker Hesson profiling lol shocker...

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  15. I would like to add that though I agree that Hesson and Albaugh should both loose their badges I dont feel the mayor had any ties to a cover up and think has done done a great job with Frankfort. You have to look at what he walked into when he bacame Mayor and je can only fix one thing at a time so best wishes Chris

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    1. I personally heard the original recording that was done with the mayor. He absolutely knows everything that happened and did nothing. He admits the wrongdoing on tape and does nothing, he is just as guilty as everybody else.

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    2. Mayor Mcbarnes DID have many ties to this cover up, he even admitted that his officers had done wrong doings with this specific case and continued to do nothing about it!

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  16. I am truly sorry to the people of Frankfort for the bad things that have happened. Be your own justice go to the NEWS! Make yourself heard and if there is something that is being hidden it will come out, It always does!

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  17. You people really need to learn before you comment on things.

    This video shows her ignoring an order to get out the car, which any officer has EVERY right to do on ANY traffic stop. She then starts digging in her purse or something and is told to stop. She again ignores the officer and is subsequently forcibly removed from the car.

    And, to those claiming your friend was killed by this officer, your friend attacked him with a knife. Do you expect him to just allow himself to be stabbed?

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  18. I don't understand all of this was from last year why has there not been any updating?

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    1. There will be updating SOON. The case is still ongoing and all of the city's attempts at dismissal have been DENIED from the judge in the federal courts! The victim will have her day in court hopefully this year. Please do not let this die down and be swept under the rug anymore than it already has been, if she has come this far, there is CLEARLY something to be investigated and some wrong doing from FPD and the city.

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    2. This female was an attention seeker. Jason Albaugh is one of the best men I have ever been acquainted with. His morals are and have always been higher than any others. He would not, for anyone, mishandle a case as he is extremely well disciplined. This man has been a teacher, coach, police officer, all at the same time. He truly achieves at being a good role model for people to look up to. The kit performed on the female was completed in 7 weeks, a substantially shorter amount of time then usual thanks to the back logs of kits waiting to be tested at the state crime labs. I cannot speak for the other officers however the questions alleged to be asked by hession are important to any investigation such as this. Because in court and from the community she would have had to deal with the same thing, its a way to prepare them and make sure they want to go through with it and make sure it actually happened and not just wanting someone else to pay for their poor choices. Im not saying this girl was not assaulted, but there is no way that a "cover up" is happening this is merely a smear campaign.
      Mayor chris mcbarnes? A true pillar of our community, god fearing, go-getter who has made numerous improvements to the community. This case was not mishandled, its just a well told story. Just figured i'd set the story straight. Better late than never.

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  19. Yes Lafayette is corrupt as they pick and choose who they want to prosecute. If they screwed up in other instances they make one person a scapegoat and give them more years that most murderers!

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  20. Albaugh just did a case with my daughter just within the last 2 weeks. How do I know he did his job right if he helped Cover up this case?? Also, back when I was 17, about 12 yrs ago, I had been raped as well and there was evidence such as, bruises and scratches all over my body. They took pics. My mom took me to the hospital and all they said was to go home and take a bath. Well I washed away most of the evidence bc of the drs. After that my mom took me to Lafayette where they did a rape kit and there was one piece of evidence but still nothing was ever done. I hate this town and the cops In this town. They r good for nothing. I hope that they get in lots of trouble for covering up cases

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  21. Doesn't surprise me about Albaugh. I will continue to pray for justice for the young lady. Fight on girl! Don't give you, Don't EVER give up!

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  22. Whatever happened to this case? Did it get dropped? Are the two bad cops still on the loose?

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    1. They sure are!

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    2. This case is going to federal trial this year. Please continue to show support for the victim and her family. Despite FPD's SEVERAL attempts to dismiss this case, the federal judge has denied their request every time and they are out of times they can file a motion to dismiss. Therefore, the victim and family will have their day in court this year. Thank you all who show support

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    3. No, it has not been dropped despite Frankfort's MANY attempts to get it dismissed. Justice is a long process, but hopefully it will come very soon!

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  23. I was a victim of rape quite a few years ago in clinton county and I know first hand how they handle these particular cases....they don't! I was tild bluntly that it was his wird against mine. I was a child and he was an adult. I guess clinton county is still unable to handle cases as such and obviously don't really care about the victims. Guess it looks bad to have high rape statistics.

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