Civil suit filed against former deputy
One of five women allegedly sexually assaulted by a former deputy has filed a civil suit against him.
Teressa N. Schoolcraft, of Buckeye, is asking for punitive damages "in an amount sufficient to ensure that such actions are not repeated in accordance with West Virginia law," and recovery in an amount that does not exceed "the limits of the Defendants' liability insurance."
Schoolcraft is suing Bradley Totten, who was indicted in April on 12 sex crimes involving four juveniles and one adult. The suit also names Sheriff David Jonese, both individually and in his official capacity. County commissioners David Fleming, Martin Saffer and Jamie Walker are named only in their official capacities. Jonese is named in the suit because he was Totten's supervisor. The sheriff and the county commission are co-employers of all law enforcement officers.
According to the suit, which was filed Monday, Totten made "sexually harassing comments" to Schoolcraft while she was on Day Report. He also "persisted" in asking her to make controlled drug buys, insinuating that he would "put Ms. Schoolcraft in jail if she did not help him," the suit says.
The suit says Schoolcraft "felt she had no choice but to help him."
About two years ago, the suit says she called Totten to "discuss a shipment of illegal drugs which she heard was expected to arrive in Pocahontas County." The former deputy asked that she meet him outside her Buckeye home around midnight "ostensibly to discuss her role as a purchaser and confidential informant dealing with said drugs," the suit says.
The suit says on May 22, 2010, Totten arrived at her home near midnight in uniform and driving an officially marked police car, picked up Schoolcraft and drove her across the Buckeye bridge, then headed south on the Greenbrier River Trail to the first picnic area. There, according to the civil suit, Totten "raped her against her will."
Schoolcraft's civil rights were violated under both the West Virginia and United States Constitutions, the suit says. She has suffered "trauma, severe emotional distress and other damages," according to the suit.
Schoolcraft's lawsuit claims include battery, false arrest, assault, outrage, abuse of process, negligence, forcible and illegal rape, negligent operation of a vehicle by an employee while the employee was engaged with the scope of their employment and negligent performance of acts of an employee while acting with the scope of their employment.
Schoolcraft is represented by Roger Foreman.
No hearing date has been set.
Totten is scheduled to be arraigned on the felony charges next week.
Pamela Pritt may be contacted at pepritt@pocahon tastimes.com