Woman sues Estherville PD, credit union, among several over alleged sexual harassment

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ESTHERVILLE, Iowa (KCAU) – A woman has filed a lawsuit against the Estherville Police Department after alleging that a former police officer asked for sexual favors from her in order to help get her repossessed car back.

Victoria Abrahamson filed a lawsuit against former police officer Ben Scheevel, Police Chief Brent Shatto, Mike Webber, the Estherville Police Department, the City of Estherville as well as the Employees Credit Union (ECU) in Estherville.

According to court documents, Abrahamson’s car was repossessed on April 10, 2019, by Officer Scheevel and Webber and took it to the ECU. Abrahamson was told that she had to pay $1,500, including a repossession fee to the credit union to get her vehicle back.

The lawsuit said on April 11, 2019, Officer Sheevel sent Abrahamson private and unsolicited messages through Facebook after learning she was unable to pay the fee. He told Abrahamson that he and Webber could help get her car back in exchange for sexual favors. Officer Scheevel then said that they would have to “keep it on the DL” because he was married.

When Abrahamson refused Officer Scheevel’s offers, he threatened to use his authority to cause “trouble” for her if she did not send him or Webber sexually explicit photos of herself.

The lawsuit said Abrahamson and her mother reported Officer Scheevel’s conduct to the police department, but the suit alleges that Chief Shatto took no action despite knowing of Officer Scheevel’s actions.

Abrahamson filed six counts against the defendants, including “intentional infliction of emotional distress, civil extortion, and negligent supervision and regulations.”

Court documents said that she’s seeking “actual and compensatory damages” and has requested a jury trial.

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