Several Hoboken Police Officers have been accused of a 2018 sexual assault in a lawsuit filed on Aug. 20, 2020 .
The amended suit is filed against the city; the Hoboken Police Department; Officers Frank Lombardo Jr., Harold Milne, Ricky Truppner, Anthony Feskin; Sergeants William Collins and Richard Torres; and John Does 1 and 2.
It alleges assault and battery, negligence, unlawful discrimination, abuse of process, wrongful enforcement of law, and a civil conspiracy.
According to the suit, Angelica De La Torre was in the area of 1201 Grand St. on or about Sept. 25, 2018 when officers were investigating a call where she was present.
De La Torre exchanged words with Sergeant Collins and he allegedly took her phone and smashed it, according to the suit.
The complaint goes on to say Sergeant Collins and other officers at the scene then allegedly physically and sexually assaulted De La Torre, by allegedly pulling up her shirt to fully expose her breasts and allegedly grabbing and fondling her breasts. They also allegedly “physically slammed her against a car” and onto the ground.
“While she was on the ground they stomped on her with their boots,” the suit states.
After the alleged attack, the suit claims Officer Truppner arrived at the scene and escorted her to the precinct where she received charges, which were dropped in 2019.
Soon after the incident, Truppner found De La Torre on social media, contacted her, and “offered her his “help,” giving her his private number and asking her to meet him for a drink, according to the suit.
They then spoke on the phone and in October met at a bar “frequented by police officers from the Hoboken Police Department,” where officers allegedly discussed the incident with De La Torre, according to the suit.
The suit says Truppner and De La Torre allegedly met multiple times that fall, and Truppner allegedly texted her and called her through December of 2018.
It was during this time that Truppner allegedly “engaged in inappropriate activities with the plaintiff,” according to the suit.
“Police officers at the scene sexually assaulted the plaintiff and then pressed charges against the plaintiff and then one of the arresting officers looked up the plaintiff through social media and started to try and date her,” states the suit. “He took her to a police bar where other members of the Hoboken Police discussed her case. He also indicated that he would ‘help’ her as he pushed for a romantic relationship. Then he had an inappropriate relationship with her. The defendants entered into an agreement with each other for the purpose of committing unlawful acts, and the conspirators took overt acts in furtherance of the agreement…”
The suit states that as a result of the officers’ actions, De Le Torre “was injured and suffered severe and permanent personal and psychological injuries.”
It further claims that the “defendants were under a duty to properly train, hire, retain, and supervise” the officers and “negligently failed to follow proper procedures.”
“The plaintiff underwent a sexual assault which was caused by a willful, wanton and/or grossly negligent acts of the Hoboken Police Department,” states the suit, which also alleges that the defendants discriminated against her by sexually and physically assaulting her because of her sex and race.
The suit seeks a jury trial and damages, punitive damages, interest, fees and the cost of the suit.
According to Police Chief Ken Ferrante, the allegations are currently being investigated by the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office.
“I learned of this case last Friday afternoon and immediately opened an Internal Affairs Investigation,” Chief Ferrante told the Hudson Reporter. “At this time, the case is at the Hudson County Prosecutors Office as our Internal Affairs sent it there for a review. There were no complaints made to our Internal Affairs, our detectives, nor the Hudson County prosecutors in the past two years regarding this case. These are serious allegations, and they will be thoroughly investigated.”
He said at this time no criminal charges have been filed.
EDITORS NOTE: This story has been updated. The Aug. 20 complaint erroneously named an officer who has been retired from the Hoboken Police Department since 2013. An amended complaint was filed on Sept. 16, which corrects the attorney’s mistake.