Ferguson Police Officer Accused of Raping Pregnant Woman

Jaris Hayden (Photo: St. Louis Jail)
Jaris Hayden
(Photo: St. Louis Jail)

This small Midwest city has a new problem — a lawsuit that claims a corrections officer raped a pregnant woman and that police in the city have engaged in a “pattern of violence against the citizenry.”

The woman sued Officer Jaris Hayden and the city of Ferguson and alleges the assault happened at the city jail while she was about three months pregnant. Court papers identify the alleged victim by her initials, J.W., because she says she is a rape victim.

In addition to the lawsuit, Hayden, 29, of Ferguson, faces four criminal charges, including two counts of having sexual contact with a prisoner, one count of permitting escape from custody and one count of acceding to corruption by a public servant, according to St. Louis County court records. Police arrested him on Nov. 12.

Hayden will plead not guilty to the charges at his arraignment on December 3, said Scott Rosenblum, who is defending Hayden from the criminal charges.

“At that point, we will start receiving the discovery and evidence and we will start responding to that,” Rosenblum said. “He is looking forward to defending himself in court.”

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Source: USA Today | Yamiche Alcindor