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Inquiry into Inglewood claim sought

Councilwoman says she wants an accounting of the city's investigation of a woman's allegation she was sexually assaulted by a police officer.

December 23, 2006|Greg Krikorian and Andrew Blankstein | Times Staff Writers

An Inglewood city councilwoman said Friday she will ask for a special session of the council to discuss the city's handling of an investigation into an alleged sexual assault of a young woman by a uniformed patrol officer.

Councilwoman Judy Dunlap said she was troubled that she and other city officials learned about the incident only when The Times reported Thursday that the FBI and Inglewood police had launched investigations into the alleged assault at a hotel on Century Boulevard.

"I believe in transparency in government, which has not occurred in the past and certainly did not occur in this situation," Dunlap said.

She added that she will demand that the mayor, interim Police Chief J.I. Davis and other city officials give a full accounting of what she called the "ongoing suppression of information affecting the safety of Inglewood residents."

Meantime, the attorney for the woman who said she was assaulted by the Inglewood officer said Friday that his client, who was stopped on suspicion of prostitution, lives in Florida and was in the area with her boyfriend to visit her mother for the holidays.

Attorney Dylan F. Pollard also said that his 22-year-old client told him she was not dressed provocatively when the patrol officer and his partner stopped her Sunday night along Century, a boulevard known for pockets of prostitution.

At the officers' insistence, the woman has alleged, she was taken to a budget hotel on Century where she and her boyfriend were staying to prove to police she was not a streetwalker. There, she said, she was sexually attacked by one officer while his partner remained outside with the patrol car. Her boyfriend was not at the hotel at the time.

Although it was earlier believed that the woman, a onetime exotic dancer, was returning from work at the time, her lawyer said Friday that she was walking from her hotel to a nearby fast-food restaurant for dinner when she was stopped by the officers.

"They were convinced she was a streetwalker," Pollard said.

Though she showed the officers a hotel key, Pollard said, the officers did not believe it was real.

The incident was reported the next day to Inglewood police and the FBI, and both immediately opened inquiries. The two officers, who have not been identified, have been placed on paid administrative leave.

No charges were brought against the woman suspected of prostitution.

"It is astonishing to me," Pollard said.

"I don't have any explanation for the officers' conduct other than to say if it is true, it is outrageous. And my client is credible. We have no reason to doubt her story at this point."

Mayor Roosevelt Dorn did not return phone calls this week seeking comment on the incident. Inglewood city offices were closed Friday for the Christmas holiday.

greg.krikorian@latimes.com

andrew.blankstein@latimes.com

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