Former Syracuse police officer Chester Thompson pleaded guilty to two counts of having sex while on duty and was subsequently sentenced to three years probation. However, 40-year-old Maleatra Montanez insists she was raped by the 47-year-old man. She is now suing the city for $7 million.
On Monday, Maleatra demonstrated with a group of supporters outside city hall. She and the others said Chester Thompson's lenient sentence is unacceptable.
Although she remained anonymous when the charges were filed, Montanez recently stepped forward as one of Chester Thompson's victims. According to the Syracuse News, Maleatra revealed her identity because she is disappointed with the court's decision. Montanez said she is still traumatized by the February 2015 assault.
On Valentine's Day, Montanez placed a frantic call to 911 because her teenage daughter left town without permission. To her surprise, former officer Chester Thompson, who responded to the call, asked her to have sex with him in her living room.
Montanez said she pleaded, "Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. We don't have to do this."
I believe this New York cop, Chester Thompson, is a sexual predator like Daniel Holtzclaw.https://t.co/avZLfVQpk4 pic.twitter.com/mfSWG30rqq
— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) May 16, 2016
According to a sworn affidavit, the mother of four said the veteran cop initially asked her to perform oral sex. As reported by the Grio, he then ordered her to get a condom from the bedroom. When she returned to the living room, Thompson reportedly told her to turn around and face her infant son while he raped her from behind.
After seeking treatment at a local hospital, Montanez filed a complaint with the Syracuse Police Department.
Prosecutors said they simply did not have evidence to file a rape or sexual assault charge against the former police officer. Prosecutor Jeremy Cali explained a police officer cannot be charged unless the victim was in custody at the time of the assault or if they were threatened or physically restrained.
"He asked if I loved my son... so I had an idea of maybe what was getting ready to happen."
She said she pleaded with the officer repeatedly and cried throughout the incident. When he was done, Thompson reportedly told her he was married with children and asked if she was going to report the assault.
Chester Thompson contends the encounter was consensual. In response, outraged Maleatra Montanez replied that she never met the officer before he responded to the 911 call. She also explained that her personal doctor warned her to abstain from sex because she recently gave birth.
Montanez alleges the sexual advances began as soon as Thompson set foot inside her apartment.
She said, "[H]e told me that my butt was big and that my lips looked like [they] could hold a penis."
Cali admitted Montanez was clearly intimidated during the 2015 encounter. However, he said Thompson could only be charged with official misconduct. Essentially, he was charged with illegally deriving a benefit from his position while on duty.
Chester Thompson pleaded guilty to having sex with Montanez once and another woman three times. All four encounters happened while the former officer was on duty. In addition to being kicked off the police force, Thompson was sentenced to three years probation.
On February 14th, 2015 Officer Chester Thompson raped Maleatra Montanez. She reported it & is bravely speaking out. pic.twitter.com/8pTfmSWseF
— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) May 16, 2016
Maleatra Montanez's civil attorney, Ed Sivin, believes the DA should have done more during Thompson's trial.
"I believe a rape took place in this case," he said. "The law defines forcible compulsion as a threat, express or implied," he explained.
On Monday, a distraught Montanez joined her supporters outside city hall, chanting in protest as two city councilors made their way out of the building. Both women stopped to talk to Maleatra and to express their support.
Helen Hudson, councilor at large, hugged Montanez and Sue Boyle, who will resume office next year, shook her hand and offered words of encouragement.
Although she has received tremendous support, Montanez blames herself for not fighting back.
"I can't accept it … I should have done more … I can't accept that I just didn't do more … why didn't I stab him … why didn't I scream out my front door. Why didn't I do nothing?"
Maleatra Montanez has now filed a $7 million suit against Thompson and the city. The requested amount includes $5 million in compensation and another $2 million in damages. The lawsuit also names former internal affairs Captain Thomas Galvin and police chief Frank Fowler, who were reportedly aware of Chester Thompson's sexual misconduct and refused to take action.
[Image via Fh Photo/Shutterstock]