Civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump is joining the case against a former Louisville Metro Police Department officer accused of raping several women.
Crump, who has been part of high-profile cases like those of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and Tamir Rice, is no stranger to going after problematic police officers.
“In my experience, a rogue police officer abusing power is a major issue in America,” Crump said, according to local station WAVE.
Crump will be working with Louisville attorney Shannon Fauver on four lawsuits alleging sexual assault by former LMPD Officer Pablo Cano.
One woman claimed that Cano made her choose between going to jail or having sex with him and then raped her in the back of the police cruiser. Cano was on-duty at the time and in uniform.
Victims feeling empowered to tell their stories
After Cano resigned from the police force, and in the wake of the growing #MeToo movement, Cano’s victims have felt empowered to come forward.
“Some of them have either been so afraid to come forward because no one would believe them or just weren’t ready because he was still on duty,” Fauver said. “When they find out he has quit and is no longer here, they are more willing to come forward now.”
On Monday, two more women accused Cano of sexual misconduct, according to Fauver, who said that brings the total number of accusers up to nine. Both Crump and Fauver believe that it’s likely more victims are out there and simply haven’t come forward yet.
“This is not anything new but, now women are finding their courage to speak up and speak out,” Crump said, noting that the #MeToo movement has played a part in letting these women feel like they have at a chance at being heard.
As for Cano, he has denied all of the charges. His lawyer, Lee Sitlinger, told WAVE, “Mr. Cano denies any non-consensual contact/communication with the ladies.”