Victim assaulted by former police officer takes Edmonds and Mountlake Terrace to federal court

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Daniel Lavely
Daniel Lavely

The victim in the sexual misconduct case against former Edmonds police officer Daniel Lavely has alleged in a U.S. District Court complaint that the cities of Edmonds and Mountlake Terrace violated her civil rights. The City of Lynnwood, also named in the initial filing, was removed from the case last week.

In September 2013, Lavely was sentenced to a year in prison for having sex in his patrol car with the victim, whom he had detained and taken into custody on May 7, 2012 (see My Edmonds News coverage here).

In May 2015, the victim sued the City of Edmonds for $2 million, stating the city failed to properly train, supervise and evaluate Lavely. Last week the case, now alleging violations of the victim’s civil rights and including Mountlake Terrace as a co-defendant, was moved to U.S. District Court.

In the complaint filed with the court, the victim’s attorneys allege that the cities violated her civil rights by “intentionally and deliberately ignoring the background and evaluation of prospective police officers, the proper supervision of current police officers, and complaints of physically and sexually assaultive conduct,” and for “failing to remediate such conduct, and to discipline, reprimand, retrain or discharge officers who engage in such conduct.”

The complaint contains numerous other allegations, including that both cities have ignored “the very alarming culture and custom among their officers to cover up officer misconduct and to disregard the safety of female suspects.”

Mountlake Terrace is specifically singled out for “deliberate indifference to the civil rights of female assault victims” because it ignored “reports of sexual assault made against Lavely prior to the time [the victim] was assaulted,” and that a timely report and investigation of these could have prevented the May 7, 2012 assault.

U.S. District Court Judge Brian Tsuchida has been assigned to the case. No trial date has been set.

— By Larry Vogel

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