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Wichita City Council approves settlement in civil lawsuit against former police officer

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Tuesday, March 26, 2013, at 3:37 p.m.
  • Updated Thursday, April 11, 2013, at 6:07 p.m.

An $89,000 settlement with a woman who was sexually attacked by a Wichita police officer was approved by the Wichita City Council without comment Tuesday.

The settlement, recommended by the city’s lawyer, closes a civil lawsuit brought by the woman in June 2012 against the city and Wichita Police Chief Norman Williams in the Feb. 27, 2011, attack.

Then-officer Joseph T. McGill pleaded guilty in January 2012 to sexual battery in this case and in a separate incident that occurred in November 2010. He was sentenced to three years’ probation. McGill, who had three years on the department, resigned after the charges were filed after originally being suspended by the department.

McGill is a defendant in a separate civil lawsuit brought by the victim in February 2012 in Sedgwick County District Court.

Council members approved the settlement as part of the weekly consent agenda, where groups of items are approved without council or public discussion. According to city documents, the settlement does not reflect an admission of liability on the part of McGill or the city. The settlement will be paid out of the city’s tort claims fund, which is used settle cases the city doesn’t want to take to trial.

The original criminal charges in the case against McGill alleged that he “unlawfully and intentionally” touched the victim sexually when the victim was “overcome by force or fear.”

The civil suit against McGill alleges that he handcuffed the victim and placed her in his patrol car, then drove to her residence — all without an arrest or legal justification for the use of handcuffs.

Then while she was cuffed and outside the patrol vehicle, the suit says, McGill sexually attacked the woman, whose screams were so loud that he released her, allowing her to run into her home.

Reach Bill Wilson at 316-268-6290 or bwilson@wichitaeagle.com.

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