Woman files $10M lawsuit against SAPD officer, city of San Antonio

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by Andrew Delgado / Kens5.com

kens5.com

Posted on January 30, 2014 at 5:29 PM

Updated Friday, Jan 31 at 8:12 AM

 SAN ANTONIO -- A woman who claims to have been sexually assaulted by a San Antonio police officer last year filed a $10 million lawsuit in federal court Thursday.

The woman, listed in court documents as 'Jane Doe' -- a pseudonym used to protect her privacy -- is suing for violation of her Fourth Amendment Rights: protections against unreasonable search and seizure.

San Antonio police officer Jackie Neal, 40, is accused of sexually assaulting 19-year-old 'Doe' in the back of his patrol vehicle during a traffic stop last November. Police said Neal was in full uniform when the attack happened on San Antonio's southwest side.

According to SAPD chief William McManus, Neal's patrol unit was equipped with on-board cameras at the time of the alleged assault; however, the hard drives to the cameras had not been installed -- so the act was never recorded.

Authorities said 'Doe' was hesitant to report the assault to authorities, but she eventually contacted San Antonio Police Department investigators.

Neal was taken into custody, shortly thereafter, and charged with sexual assault and official oppression.

But Neal didn't stay in the Bexar County jail for long.

"After his arrest, Defendant Neal, presented himself at the residence in which ('Doe') was staying, and identified himself as 'Jack,' and stating he was looking for ('Doe')," according to court documents.

Police officers were dispatched to 'Doe's' residence to investigate. Officer Neal was found in the area, 'driving erratically,' McManus said during an interview.

Days later, Neal was taken into custody, again, on a new charge of violation of civil rights. He was released from jail on Thanksgiving Day, after posting a $10,000 bond.

McManus told KENS 5 he called the FBI to look into filing a similar federal charge. A spokeswoman for the San Antonio division of the FBI confirmed the agency launched its own investigation into Neal's actions shortly after Neal's arrest.

"McManus has stated that he had personal knowledge that Defendant Neal had at least two (2) previous episodes of inappropriate sexual conduct, yet continued to employ him," Doe's lawyers wrote in the plaintiff's complaint.

Neal had just been transferred 72 days prior from the Prue Substation to South Substation after having a two-year, on-and-off, sexual relationship with an 18-year-old SAPD Explorer. McManus allegedly knew of the inappropriate relationship.

Attorneys also claim SAPD has shown a pattern of indifference when it comes to citizens' rights and safety, and has kept unsuitable officers on the force.

Neal, McManus, SAPD and the city of San Antonio are all named as defendants in the lawsuit.

Neal was an 11-year veteran with SAPD at the time of the alleged assault. He was placed on paid administrative leave following his arrest.

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