Rape victim files suit against city, former Ass't CAO

Rape victim files suit against city, former Ass't CAO
Rick Seaton (Source: Caddo Parish Sheriff's Office)
Rick Seaton (Source: Caddo Parish Sheriff's Office)

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - The victim of a rape that took place inside the offices of the Shreveport Mayor is suing the city, claiming that her civil rights were violated, and that the City of Shreveport should have done more to protect her.

Then-Assistant Chief Administrative Officer Rick Seaton was convicted in January of 2012 of forcible rape and abuse of office and sentenced to 15 years in prison.

In a suit filed Wednesday at the Federal Courthouse in downtown Shreveport naming both Seaton and the city, the woman claims that there were several opportunities for the city to have prevented the rape that she claims has caused humiliation, loss of wages, mental and emotional and physical stress.

"Evil comes to us in countless forms and disguises but it is when evil comes to us in the form of law and order that is most terrifying," said Joel Pearce, the victim's attorney.

The rape took place after the Independence Bowl in December 2010. The woman was from out of town. Her boyfriend had been arrested at the time, and Seaton, reportedly under the guise of his job title as Assistant CAO and using a city-owned vehicle, took the woman to Government Plaza under the guise of helping her facilitate the release of her boyfriend.

The lawsuit claims that, acting under the color of law, Seaton and the City of Shreveport knowingly and recklessly disregarded her safety, citing several violations of her civil rights.

"Not only did they ignore her cries for help and turn a deaf ear and a blind eye," says Joel Pearce, the woman's attorney, "they actually by doing that, they encouraged the predatory actions of the man who held almost ultimate power in the city of Shreveport."

One of those cries for help detailed in the suit was the moment the woman told a bondsman at the city jail that she thought Seaton was going to rape her. "When she expressed concern about Mr. Seaton, they could have immediately said, 'we are not going to allow her to go with you,'" Pearce says.

The lawsuit claims the city knew Seaton was sexually active, and tolerated his acts and practices toward women. "The system failed," Pearce claims. As a result, the suit says, it became the de facto policy of the City of Shreveport to ignore the predatory conduct of Rick Seaton toward young women.

"Her civil rights were violated at every single juncture," said Pearce.

In response to a request for comment on the suit from the Mayor's office, Public Information Officer Rod Richardson tells KSLA News 12 they have not even seen this lawsuit and therefore have no comment.

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