Friday, June 14, 2013

VA - Ex-Norfolk cop (Jason M. New) must pay $500K in rape lawsuit

Original Article


By Patrick Wilson

NORFOLK - A jury has ordered a former police officer to pay $500,000 in damages to a woman who claimed he raped her while answering her 911 call for help.

Former Officer Jason M. New did not show up for his civil trial last month.

A jury awarded plaintiff Angela L. Allen $250,000 in compensatory damages, $250,000 in punitive damages and additional costs of $985.50, according to a May 20 court order.

Circuit Judge John R. Doyle III previously found that New was liable for rape and sexual assault of Allen, according to court records.

Allen was 60 in August 2010 when she filed the lawsuit. She argued that she was disoriented because of a combination of alcohol and prescription and over-the-counter drugs when she called 911 for help at her home in Ghent. New, who was on duty and in uniform, arrived and raped her, according to her lawsuit, then returned and raped her a second time, the suit alleges.

Allen argued that she couldn't consent to sex because of her impaired condition.

The Virginian-Pilot generally does not publish the names of sexual assault victims, but Allen spoke with the newspaper about the lawsuit in 2010 and agreed to allow her name to be published.

New was 34 when the suit was filed and had worked for the Norfolk police since April 2007.

In March, his attorney asked to withdraw as his lawyer because he couldn't reach him or find him.

Commonwealth's Attorney Greg Underwood found insufficient evidence to prosecute New, his spokeswoman said in 2010.

If attorneys for Allen had their way, the city of Norfolk would be paying up, too. But because of sovereign immunity, Doyle dismissed the lawsuit against the city, a decision that was upheld by the Virginia Supreme Court.

Robert Ruloff, one of the plaintiff's attorneys, said his firm is using an investigator to try to find New.

"If we can find him, we can take his deposition and see what he has. If he's got any assets, we can try to take his assets," Ruloff said. "We're going to pursue this until we try to get her compensation."

City spokeswoman Lori Crouch said records show New was terminated on Nov. 11, 2010.

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