Ex-prostitute awarded $200,000 in damages
Filed suit against Hub police officer
A former prostitute who was forced to perform sexual acts on a Boston police officer was awarded $200,000 in compensatory damages in federal court yesterday, officials said.
The judgment, handed down by Judge Douglas P. Woodlock in US District Court in Boston, follows the 2007 conviction of Michael LoPriore, 41, a 12-year veteran of the Boston police, who admitted to using his position as a police officer to force a 19-year-old prostitute to perform sex on him on several occasions in 2004. The Globe is not naming the woman, because it does not identify victims of sexual assault.
According to court documents, the assaults began after LoPriore followed the prostitute and a regular client from Chinatown to Quincy. After scaring the client off, LoPriore flashed his badge and demanded that the prostitute perform a sexual act or he would have her arrested.
Court documents show that LoPriore tracked down the woman in Chinatown on at least two more occasions and again forced her to perform sexual acts. During one encounter, she managed to steal LoPriore’s badge and later gave it to her lawyer, John Swomley, who turned it over to the FBI.
LoPriore later pleaded guilty in federal court to depriving the woman of her civil rights and served one year in jail.
Yesterday, Swomley said his client was pleased with the outcome, but added that given LoPriore’s current lack of employment, the prospects of collecting the money were dim.
“She’s quite happy to be given the opportunity to at least try to collect some money from LoPriore,’’ Swomley said. He said his client has turned her life around and is no longer working as a prostitute.
“She’s doing well,’’ he said.
Swomley’s client had tried to have the City of Boston held accountable for failure to supervise and adequately discipline LoPriore, who had a history of disciplinary actions against him and was on restricted administrative duty at the time of the 2004 assaults.
However, Woodlock rejected her argument, Swomley said, and found that the city could not have reasonably foreseen LoPriore engaging in the illicit activity.
LoPriore did not contest the judgment, Swomley said.
Stewart Bishop can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.