Sex assault victim files lawsuit against city over former Pittsburgh police officer

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After Adam Skweres, then a Pittsburgh police officer, subjected her to forcible oral sex, "I just wasn't going to tolerate it, period," a woman said Thursday, shortly after filing a related lawsuit in federal court.

The victim, who is referred to in the lawsuit as Jane Doe to protect her privacy, became the fourth person to sue since accusations emerged that Skweres sexually assaulted women he met in the course of his work.

She deserves credit for stopping years of assaults, said her attorney, Timothy O'Brien.

"She went to the FBI and within a matter, literally, of days, criminal charges were brought and Skweres was arrested, which is what should have happened in 2008," Mr. O'Brien said.

Skweres, in uniform, arrived at the woman's home in February 2012, according to the lawsuit.

He offered to help get her boyfriend out of jail, according to the complaint, and then demanded sex. The Post-Gazette does not identify victims of sexual assault.

The lawsuit claims that a bureau psychologist found Skweres unsuitable for police work, but that after his successful appeal to the Civil Service Commission, the city hired him.

From 2008 through 2011, the city received at least three complaints from women about Skweres, but he remained on the beat.

The complaint names as defendants the city, Public Safety Director Michael Huss, former police chief Nate Harper and former assistant chief of operations William Bochter.

Mr. O'Brien said he did not sue Skweres because the case should focus on the city's role, and because the now-imprisoned former officer probably lacks assets.

Mr. O'Brien said he hopes to get justice for the victim, but also to put focus on "the failure of the police administration" and weakness of the city's Office of Municipal Investigations.

"They have investigations that go on for months and months and months at OMI" without clear results, he said.

City Solicitor Lourdes Sánchez-Ridge had not seen the lawsuit and could not comment. The city has maintained that it investigated the complaints about Skweres.

Rich Lord: or 412-263-1542. Twitter: @richelord. First Published January 16, 2014 11:42 AM

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