Woman’s suit alleges deputy assaulted her at courthouse
A 49-year-old woman is suing the state Department of Public Safety, claiming a state sheriff’s deputy sexually assaulted her when she was in custody in the courthouse on Punchbowl Street.
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A 49-year-old woman is
suing the state Department of Public Safety, claiming a state sheriff’s deputy sexually assaulted her when she was in custody in the courthouse on Punchbowl Street.
Lawyers for Elizabeth A. Mueller filed a lawsuit against the department, its top administrators and the now-former sheriff’s deputy, Freddie Carabbacan, in state court last month. The state attorney general moved
the case last week to U.S.
Mueller said in her lawsuit that Carabbacan molested her in the state Circuit Court cellblock on July 3, 2014, and that another woman being detained in the cellblock
witnessed the sexual assault. Mueller said she reported the incident to DPS officials
a few weeks later.
She was in custody on an alleged probation violation and was in court to answer to the allegation when she said Carabbacan molested her. Mueller was sentenced to four years of probation
in October 2013 after she pleaded no contest to charges that she possessed drugs and drug paraphernalia when she was arrested
for shoplifting at a 7-Eleven store.
Mueller said that on July 3, when she was in custody
on another probation
violation, DPS handed her a report that said the department investigated and substantiated her sexual assault claim and that corrective action had been taken against the employee.
A DPS spokeswoman
said that as of June 30, Carabbacan was no longer an employee of the department, but declined to say whether he had been fired, citing state privacy laws. The spokeswoman also said the department wouldn’t comment further on the case.
The actions Mueller accuses Carabbacan of in her lawsuit qualify as third-degree sexual assault, a class C felony punishable by up to five years in prison. Carabbacan has not been charged with any crimes.
The day Mueller said
she received DPS’s report of its investigation of her claim is exactly three years after she said she was sexually
assaulted — the day the statute of limitations expired for third-degree sexual assault.