12/30/2008 5:50 PM By Lindsay Bailey -Kanawha Bureau
CLARKSBURG – A Pennsylvanian woman has filed a suit against the Hancock County Sheriff and a deputy for an alleged sexual assault.
Vanessa Kowalyk of McKees Rocks, Pa., filed the suit Dec. 9 in feral court. The defendants listed are the Hancock County Office of the Sheriff, Sheriff Mike White individually and in his capacity as Sheriff and Mike Alan Smith individually and in his capacity as Deputy Sheriff of Hancock County.
According to the complaint, Kowalyk left the parking lot of a nighclub called Fantasies in Chester at about 3 a.m. on Dec. 13, 2006, after her shift there. She says she was pulled over shortly after by Smith who was in uniform and driving a Hancock County cruiser.
The complaint says Smith administered a sobriety test and directed Kowalyk to be seated in the passenger side of his cruiser. He then kidnapped, falsely imprisoned Kowalyk and drove her to a cemetery where he sexually assaulted and battered her, the suit claims. Smith later pleaded guilty and was sentenced to one year in prison for sexual abuse.
Kowalyk seeks compensation from the defendants for not properly supervising Smith and for an alleged willingness to look the other way when officers would take dancers on dates and, under the pressure of uniform, would force or attempt to force dancers to perform sexual favors. She seeks compensation for suffering loss of liberty, mental and physical anguish, severe emotional distress and loss of future earnings.