Internet rape victim settles suit with city of Sparks

SPARKS - A Sparks woman who claimed police scoffed at her and called her a liar when she said she had been raped has settled her civil suit against the city for $24,999.

''After two years, it's a good feeling knowing I was able to prove I was right and they were wrong,'' Jennifer W. said Wednesday.

The 24-year-old University of Nevada, Reno, student sued the city after police rejected her claim that she was raped by a man she met on the Internet. Police finally accepted her story after a second woman was attacked by the same man who sent her unsolicited e-mail. Jennifer W. was not identified because of the nature of the offense.

Jennifer W. contended the second rape would never have happened if police had respected her claim initially.

Still pending are civil claims against Police Chief Jon Dotson, Sgt. Bob Schmidt, now a lieutenant, and Detectives Frank Torres and David Adams.

''We will feel vindicated when we get a judgment against the others,'' attorney Marc Picker said. He is seeking more than $100,000 on behalf of his client.

''That will be the final close to the chapter,'' Jennifer W. said.

Sparks City Attorney Chester Adams disagrees with Picker on whether the officers can remain parties in the lawsuit since the claim against the city was settled.

Adams also disagrees with the claims of vindication, saying the settlement agreement does not admit wrongdoing by the city.

He said it means that both sides acknowledge they might have won or lost the case before a jury and the settlement agreement - $1 below the amount that requires City Council approval - saves the city the cost of litigating what could have been an expensive case to defend.

Jennifer W. met Timothy Mobly over the Internet in 1998 and was trying to break off their relationship when she was abducted and raped.

Mobly admitted the crime and he and his accomplice, Aaron Cross, also pleaded guilty to assaulting the second victim, a 17-year-old.

Cross was sentenced to two consecutive life terms in state prison but Mobly fled before sentencing a year ago and remains at large.

Jennifer W. claims police disregarded her allegations, bungled the investigation and acted only after the second victim was found running naked on Mobly's street two months after Jennifer W. was attacked in November 1998.


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