Woman accuses officer of sexual assault and bribery in new lawsuit.
A federal lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Allentown names former South Whitehall police officer Kyle Golden, unnamed members of the police department, and the township as defendants in a rape case involving a cash bribe. The plaintiff, also unnamed, stated officer Golden offered assistance after she was kicked out of a hotel while drunk. Then, he drove her to another hotel across town and sexually assaulted her. She later confronted him and Golden allegedly offered her a bribe if she agreed not to disclose what’d happened. Golden has since been terminated for misconduct.
The plaintiff’s attorney Joshua Karoly said the lawsuit seeks to end a “culture of abuse” and dismantle a system lacking policies to prevent these types of issues. “It’s a despicable act that he utilized his badge to perpetrate, and all good men and women of law enforcement should be appalled,” Karoly said.
According to the lawsuit, “Police were called by the staff of the Comfort Suites hotel in South Whitehall on Jan. 7, 2019, because they wanted a heavily intoxicated guest to leave. Officers, including Golden, responded and encountered the plaintiff, who was clearly under the influence of alcohol and physically and mentally vulnerable. The woman agreed to leave the hotel, and police helped her gather her belongings from the room. Outside, in the presence of an unidentified officer, Golden offered the woman a ride to another hotel in his police vehicle. Aware that she was unable to safely drive, the woman accepted Golden’s offer, trusting that he would take her safely to a nearby hotel. The suit alleges that Golden violated the police department’s policies by transporting the woman alone under the circumstances and that the other police officer turned a blind eye to Golden’s conduct, placing the woman at risk.”
It continues, “Golden turned off his body and dashboard cameras, drove the woman to the Holiday Inn Express and instructed the plaintiff to pay for a hotel room. He accompanied her to the room, where he raped her. During the assault, the woman was lapsing in and out of consciousness. The following day, the plaintiff awoke disoriented but was able to secure a ride back to the previous hotel to retrieve her car.”
She ended up recognizing and being able to track down Golden after she found an article on the internet about him. She left a message at the department, and when Golden returned her call, he apologized and called himself a “peice of s—.” She was a offered $2,500 bribe to keep quiet. But, instead of accepting the bribe, the woman reported what had happened to his colleagues and Golden was interviewed, admitting to the rape and subsequently, terminated.
“In essence, these past actions were condoned and encouraged by supervisors and the decision-makers in the township, leading to the constitutional violations complained of in this action,” the suit reads. It seeks more than $150,000 in damages and is the second federal lawsuit against South Whitehall Township alleging misconduct.
In a similar police misconduct case, ex-Chicago police superintendent Eddie Johnson recently denied allegations of sexual assault against a female officer who filed a lawsuit against him earlier this year. Fourteen-year Chicago Police Officer Cynthia Donald said Johnson told her “you know I own you” as he repeatedly raped her over a three-year period beginning in 2016. She felt the only way she could keep her job was to comply. Instead of allowing a culture of corruption to continue, however, she too decided to bravely speak her truth. Johnson has maintained through his attorney Donald’s claims are for financial gain.