Sixth federal lawsuit has been filed against David Gibson, Sheriff Wendell Beam

SHEILA A. MATHEWS :::

A sixth woman has filed a federal lawsuit against David Gibson, formerly the captain of the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office Uniform Patrol Division, Spalding County Sheriff Wendell Beam and Spalding County. Gibson and Beam are being sued in their individual and official capacities.

This sixth lawsuit marks the first filed by a civilian, identified in court records as Susan Amanda Bohannon. The first five were filed by current or former Sheriff’s Office employees, Misty Parker-Piper, Kimberly Barnett, Jessica Kelley, Melanie Bowen and Karen Law.

In her lawsuit, Bohannon alleges Gibson used his position at the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office and authority of his office to engage in “a pattern and practice of sexually harassing” his female subordinates and citizens to include threatening them when they rejected his sexual advances, and included multiple examples of her complaints against the former law enforcement officer.

“Gibson subjected Plaintiff to repeated unwanted sexual advances, comments and touchings. When Plaintiff rejected these advances, Gibson retaliated by, among other things, threatening her freedom and physical safety. Prior to several of the unlawful encounters,” the lawsuit alleges.

According to the legal filing, the lawsuit is being brought based on equal protection claims under the Fourth and Fourteenth amendments to the United States Constitution, and Bohannon is seeking both declaratory and injunctive relief, damages and attorneys’ fees and costs.

Bohannan’s lawsuit goes on to cite specific incidents in which she alleges sexual misconduct from 2008 until Gibson’s 2015 arrest.

“First, Gibson stopped the car in which Bohannon was a passenger. After Gibson placed handcuffs on Bohannon, he stated that he could take them off if she met him at a nearby paint and body shop at 9 p.m. Trying to avoid an unlawful detention, Bohannon agreed and then did not appear. At 10 p.m., Sheriff’s deputies showed up at the residence she was visiting,” the lawsuit claims.

It also details two incidents the plaintiff alleges occurred at a local bar where Gibson worked as a bouncer. In one, Bohannon claims Gibson made sexual contact with her “despite her repeated efforts to avoid such contact.” In the second, she alleges Gibson instructed her to enter his car.

“When she resisted, he threatened her. As she approached the squad car, he was masturbating. When he insisted that she touch his genitalia, she tried to avoid contact by alerting him that people would see them. At that point, Gibson physically threatened her and reminded her of her children’s legal troubles in an effort to threaten their freedom,” the lawsuit reads.

Other specific allegations include Gibson entering Bohannon’s home without her consent and without a warrant, and watching her engage in sexual intercourse; improper traffic stops; multiple threats to “fu*k her up;” detaining her as she walked down the street, pulling her behind bushes and demanding sexual contact; and the threat he could “lock her back up” if she refused his demands.

Bohannon alleges Beam violated her Constitutional rights by “failing to take reasonable preventative or corrective measures with respect to the unlawful conduct” despite having prior knowledge of complaints made against Gibson.

The lawsuit does not specify a monetary amount of damages being sought, but rather requests a declaratory judgment that Gibson and Beam violated Bohannon’s rights under the Equal Protection Clause and the Fourth Amendment; an injunction prohibiting the defendants from engaging in such unlawful conduct in the future; and compensatory damages for plaintiff’s “emotional distress, suffering, inconvenience, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life and special damages;” and punitive damages against Gibson and Beam in their individual capacities in an amount sufficient to punish them for their conduct towards the plaintiff and to deter them from similar conduct in the future.

Advertisements

Comments

  1. Gibson was arrested in 2015. Any idea why the delay in getting this case to trial?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: