(CHICAGO) A Chicago Police officer who was charged with sexually assaulting a fellow officer in 2013, only to see the charges dropped, is suing his accuser and several other police department colleagues who, he alleges, acted on allegations that “were without merit.”
Officer Juan Belmontes filed the lawsuit Monday in Cook County Circuit Court. On April 17, 2013, Belmontes was charged with sexually assaulting a Chicago Police sergeant while at an apartment in the Woodlawn neighborhood.
Three weeks after the charges were filed and Belmontes posted a $2,500 bond, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office declined to further prosecute him, the suit stated.
The bogus charges were brought against Belmontes after he saw his accuser vomiting and lying on the floor of the apartment on April 16, 2013, the suit stated. He nudged the sergeant with his foot and asked if she was all right, to which she responded “How f—ing dare you, mother——!” the suit stated.
Belmontes then left the apartment “in an effort to avoid further confrontation,” the suit stated.
About 11:20 a.m. on April 17, Belmontes’ accuser went to a police station out of her assigned district to file charges against him, the suit stated. She went to a different district — the Englewood District — “to enlist the aid of officers [she] was well acquainted with to further her false allegations.”
The same day, a lieutenant, who was also named as a defendant, called Belmontes and told him that she was sending a squad car to pick him up. He was taken to the Englewood District, told he was under arrest and placed in a lineup, the suit stated.
Belmontes was taken to the Calumet District on the Far South Side and placed in an interview room where he asked for an attorney. A detective interviewing him — also named as a defendant — asked him “if he was sure he wanted to do that” and demanded a statement from Belmontes, the suit stated.
The detective demanded a statement and that Belmontes unlock his cellphone, but he “did not entertain [the detective’s] demands,” the suit stated.
Shortly thereafter, Belmontes was told charges against him had been approved and he was taken to the Cook County Jail. After his bond hearing, he posted a $2,500 bail and was released, the suit stated.
On May 8, Belmontes again appeared in court and the assistant state’s attorney handling his case declined to prosecute further, the suit stated.
Another detective investigating his case was also named as a defendant, as was the Chicago Police Department.
A spokesman for the city’s Law Department declined to comment Monday, saying the city has not yet reviewed the lawsuit.
Belmontes alleges malicious prosecution and is seeking an undisclosed amount in damages.