According to KFVS, a police officer has been arrested for sexual assault while employed with the Piedmont Police Department located at 116 W Green St, Piedmont, MO 63957.
On October 26, 2021, 65-year-old Woodrow Massa was charged with two felony counts, including sexual abuse and harassment. Court documents reported that two victims made similar claims against him, one stating the abuse took place in 2015.
Massa worked as an officer of the Piedmont Police Department for over 14 years. He is currently on unpaid administrative leave.
Attorney contributor Ryan Frazier is an experienced sexual abuse attorney who represents victims in civil lawsuits. Recently, we asked Ryan to share his insight on the legal options available for victims sexually abused by a police officer.
"Police officers, along with other law enforcement agents, are trusted to provide safety to people by preventing crime and enforcing the law. Most police officers are genuinely trustworthy people. However, there have been occasions where police officers abuse their positions of power to assault people sexually. Victims of these horrible crimes must be aware of their legal options."
"The first step is to report the sexual assault, which will often result in a criminal investigation and suspension of their position. This investigation is a critical part of the legal process. Additionally, victims may also have sufficient grounds to pursue a civil lawsuit against the police officer and potentially the police department. The officer's department may be considered liable if they were found to play a negligent role in the assault. For instance, the department would be deemed negligent if the officer had prior complaints filed against them that were ignored, allowing the officer to remain employed. Also, if they failed to conduct a background check on the officer, potentially revealing a history of misconduct, this too could be considered negligent. Victims and their families are encouraged to consult an experienced sexual abuse attorney to determine whether they have grounds for a civil lawsuit."