UPDATE: A Hamilton County woman has filed a civil lawsuit against a former Chattanooga Police officer, claiming he groped her at his apartment.

According to the lawsuit, on November 8, 2018, the victim was cited for theft by former Chattanooga Officer Benjamin Dessalines at Food City.

The lawsuit claims she was detained for around five hours, before Dessalines offered her a ride home.

Dessalines, who was fired in January of 2019, allegedly drove her to his apartment instead and touched her against her will.

The lawsuit states he continuously sought to make contact with the victim, following the November incident, through a texting app.

The suit also alleges that Dessalines violated the victim's civil rights and committed sexual assault.

He was later indicted on a lesser charge of sexual battery by a Hamilton County grand jury.

The victim is seeking a jury trial and asking for 'at least' $300,000 in damages, plus attorney and court-related fees.

The City of Chattanooga and the Chattanooga Police Department are named as co-defendants.


PREVIOUS STORY: Chattanooga Police Officer Benjamin Dessalines was fired on Thursday, following the conclusion of an internal affairs investigation.

A police report says he kidnapped a woman in November of last year and took her to his apartment, where he demanded sexual activity.

CPD spokesperson Elisa Myzal says the department will be requesting decertification from the Tennessee Peace Officer Standards & Training (P.O.S.T) Commission for Dessalines.

The criminal investigation by the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office is still active and ongoing.

Dessalines is charged with one count of sexual battery and one count of kidnapping.

He is scheduled to appear in court on February 4.

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