A man is suing the north suburban village of Lindenhurst and a former village police officer who the man claims sexually assaulted him when he was 17 years old.
The suit, filed Monday in Lake County Circuit Court, claims Officer Ralph Goar met the boy outside his Round Lake home on May 17, 2013, “announced that he was a police officer, displayed his police badge and sexually assaulted” him.
“A cursory look at the complaint reveals numerous misstatements and erroneous factual assertions that Ralph Goar adamantly denies,” according to a statement from Goar’s attorney, Jeremy S. Carter.
When the plaintiff, identified only as John Doe, reported the assault to authorities, a social worker at a children’s advocacy center told him they’d been looking into Goar “for some time,” according to the suit.
Another man, Robert Lowry, had come forward a month before the alleged assault of John Doe with reports that Goar had sexually assaulted him when he was a 14-year-old member of the department’s Junior Explorer Program, according to the lawsuit. Goar was also involved with the youth program at that time and would later be hired as a community service officer and eventually a police officer for the village.
Lowry filed a lawsuit against Goar last month, alleging that the abuse continued for several years, according to a statement from John Doe’s attorney, Eugene K. Hollander.
John Doe’s suit charges the village of Lindenhurst with willful and wanton conduct, claiming village officials “knew or reasonably should have known of Goar’s dangerous and exploitative propensities as a child sexual abuser.”
The suit also accuses Goar of assault, battery and violating the Illinois Gender Violence Act, claiming that Goar targeted John Doe because he was a male. It seeks more than $5 million in damages in addition to court costs.
Goar retired last week after 27 years with the village, according to a statement from the Village of Lindenhurst.
“Last month, upon the conclusion of a Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office investigation into the allegations involving Officer Goar, the Village of Lindenhurst began an internal investigation to determine whether Officer Goar had fully complied with Lindenhurst Police Department employment policies and regulations,” village officials said in the statement.
Goar notified the village that he intended to retire “shortly after that investigation commenced and prior to interviewing him,” officials said. The village board approved his retirement agreement on May 14.
“The Village is aware of the suit and will be reviewing it in detail in order to determine an appropriate course of action,” officials said in the statement. “An initial review of the filing reveals several inaccuracies and misleading statements. That’s why we look forward to clarifying the record on behalf of the Village, the Lindenhurst Police Department, and the community we serve.”