A Mount Vernon police officer is going to sue the department, accusing it of doing nothing after a supervisor allegedly sexually assaulted her while they were responding to a 911 call, the Daily News has learned.
In a notice of claim filed against the Mount Vernon Police Department, Police Officer Lucy Roches-Bowman accused Sgt. Aristotle Evans of pinning her against a stairway wall, kissing her, then forcing her to perform a sex act while the pair were investigating a woman’s death.
Evans has been put on desk duty, but the city of Mount Vernon has done nothing about the attack because the two cops had a brief romantic relationship years earlier, Roches-Bowman, 39, told The News.
“This man used his power against me,” she charged. “To see how they have handled this case is beyond disgusting.”
According to the notice of claim, after the officers confirmed the death of a woman inside a Gramatan Ave. apartment last Sept. 29, Roches-Bowman, a nine-year veteran, went into the hallway to do paperwork and call the medical examiner’s office. A few moments later, Evans started flirting with her, she recalled.
“He said, ‘Bring your fine a** over here and yanked me,” Roches-Bowman said. “Then he grabbed my privates with so much force.”
“No one can ever understand what happens when someone is being put in that position like that,” she said. “I froze. …My heart sank. I didn’t know what was going on and how I could defend myself.”
She said when she heard the victim’s husband and other family members talking inside the apartment just a few feet away, “that gave me the courage to push him away and say ‘no’.”
Yet a short time later, Evans grabbed her in a stairwell and forced her to perform a sex act, she claims.
“I tried pushing him away, however Sgt. Evans pinned me tighter against the wall,” she wrote in her notice of claim, which was filed in December.
Roches-Bowman reported the incident to another supervisor two days later.
Prosecutors failed to criminally charge Evans because it was discovered the two had briefly dated in 2013. Roches-Bowman also admitted she told Evans, “Can you just finish this?” during the sex act.
“I said ‘no’ multiple times,” she said. “(The prosecutors) made you think that all my ‘no’s’ meant nothing. Never once did I utter yes. He took it upon himself and took that choice away from me.”
The Manhattan mother of seven has been out of work since October, and though she’s been cleared by a psychologist to return to work, she hasn’t been reinstated.
“Everyone is giving me the runaround and nothing has been done,” she said. Men can’t use their power to demean women and make them feel like nothing.”
Her lawyer, Eric Sanders, who will be filing a federal lawsuit against the Mount Vernon Police Department by the end of the summer, blasted the department for not taking the case seriously.
“This is a male dominated police force and they made it appear like she deserved it or she asked for it, which is completely not true,” he said.
The Mount Vernon Law Department didn’t respond to a call and email seeking comment. Attempts to reach Evans were unsuccessful.