ST. LOUIS (AP) — A former Ferguson corrections officer faces felony charges and a lawsuit for allegedly having sex with a pregnant inmate and allowing her to escape, a case that comes as the St. Louis suburb's police force is already under scrutiny following the shooting death of Michael Brown.
Jaris Hayden, 29, will be arraigned Dec. 3 on charges of acceding to corruption by a public servant, permitting escape and two counts of sexual contact with a prisoner. His attorney, Scott Rosenblum, said Hayden posted $10,000 bond and intends to plead not guilty. He declined further comment.
The incident allegedly happened Oct. 9, 2013. Hayden was indicted by a grand jury earlier this month, and the woman filed her lawsuit against Hayden on Friday in federal court.
Ferguson has been the site of protests since the 18-year-old Brown, who was unarmed, was fatally shot by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9. A grand jury is expected to decide this month whether to charge Wilson. Ed Magee, spokesman for St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch, said the Wilson grand jury is not the same one that indicted Hayden.
Ferguson City Attorney Stephanie Karr said in a statement that after the city learned of the complaint against Hayden, it began its own investigation that led to his firing on Nov. 19, 2013. He had worked for the city for 18 months. Karr said city officials and employees cooperated with federal authorities in the investigation.
According to the woman's lawsuit, she was taken to jail for driving with expired license plates and giving the officer a false name. The suit said her boyfriend had already posted bond when Hayden took her to a boiler room at the jail and forced her to have sex, then set her free out a side door.
The Associated Press generally does not identify alleged victims of sexual assault. The woman was only identified by her initials in the lawsuit.
Bevis Schock, the woman's attorney, said the case raises renewed concerns in Ferguson.
"The numerous acts of violence against the citizenry by law enforcement of the City of Ferguson constitute a pattern," Schock said in the lawsuit.
The criminal case is different than the lawsuit in that it alleges that Hayden accepted the woman's offer to perform sex acts in exchange for allowing her to escape. Schock said the woman was raped and there was no such agreement.
The suit said the woman was several months pregnant.