A Seattle woman is suing the City of Edmonds for $2 million, stating the city failed to properly supervise a former police officer who later was found guilty of first-degree sexual misconduct after he took her into custody and then had sex with her.
Acknowledgement of the claim for damages is included on the Edmonds City Council consent agenda for Tuesday night.
Daniel Lavely was convicted in August 2013 after the woman testified that Lavely detained her in a motel room and drove her to a deserted Highway 99 parking lot near the Burlington Coat Factory, where they engaged in sex. Lavely then lied to police dispatchers and others about his whereabouts to cover up his crime.
In her claim for damages, the victim says that the Edmonds Police Department “failed to exercise reasonable care in its hiring, retention, training and supervision of Officer Lavely,” and that the city should have known that Lavely “was a danger to others and was unfit to serve as a police officer.”
The woman also said in her claim against the city that Lavely raped her, causing “severe pain and suffering and emotional damages.”
Under Washington State law (RCW 9A.44.160), it is a class C felony for a police officer to have sex with a person in custody. In sentencing Lavely to one year in jail — the maximum allowed by law — after he was convicted, Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Marcia Ellis stressed that Lavely’s crime involved more than just sex. She sternly rebuked him for exploiting a vulnerable woman, and then purposely lying to cover up his crimes.
Lavely joined the Edmonds Police Department in 2004. He was placed on administrative leave in May 2012 when the allegations surfaced, then resigned in January 2013.