Second civil suit filed against former deputy
A second civil suit has been filed against a former Pocahontas County Deputy Sheriff, who has been indicted for 59 counts of sexual misconduct.
Bradley C. Totten, of Hillsboro, is accused in the civil suit of pressuring an adult woman into having sexual intercourse while he was on duty and in uniform.
The woman’s suit says that she first came in contact with Totten when he responded to a domestic violence call at her home. In addition, the suit says, Totten told her he had the “authority to do many things, including planting something on someone.”
The first incident took place in September 2010, and another in Totten’s police cruiser on October 6, 2010, according to the suit. The suit goes on to say that Totten informed other police officers via radio what he was doing, and “secretly filmed at least one of these acts of sexual intercourse in his police cruiser.” The film is currently in the possession of the FBI, the suit says.
While the plaintiff worked in a courthouse office in the spring of 2011, Totten pressured her for sex and “began pressuring [her] in a sexual nature” while he was in uniform and on duty, according to the suit.
She refused the sexual advances, the suit says, and subsequently left her job at the courthouse, after about a month of employment there.
The suit alleges that when law enforcement officers engaged in sexual misconduct, other officers did not intervene and did not report the unlawful activity. The suit also alleges that “inadequate supervision and discipline of police officers by the Pocahontas County Commission and Pocahontas County Sheriff’s Department has led to the unnecessary and unlawful sexual harassment of numerous individuals, including Plaintiff.”
This “code of silence” has “resulted in a culture in which sexual harassment is an accepted and customary part of police work in Pocahontas County,” the suit says.
The suit asks for a jury trial on four counts—civil rights violation, tort of outrage, hostile work environment sexual harassment and constructive discharge—and for judgment against each of the defendants, but does not specify a dollar figure for compensatory damages. She also asks for attorney’s fees, costs, interest and for other such relief as the Court deems just.
The Pocahontas County Sheriff’s Department is not named in the suit.
Totten, 40, was indicted on a variety of sexual misconduct charges at the April and August grand juries. He is currently on home confinement in lieu of $50,000 bond. The criminal charges against him span more than a decade.
Geoff Varney, of Buckhannon, represents the Plaintff.
Totten was sued in May by another adult female who alleges that Totten forced her to have sexual intercourse with her while she was incarcerated and he was a deputy sheriff.