BRISTOL, CONNECTICUT — A police officer fired in 1992 for having sex with a suicidal woman initially denied that the encounter occurred, according to documents made public Wednesday.
The officer — Michael D. Case — also knew the woman had consumed alcohol, according to a police internal affairs investigation that Case and the city fought unsuccessfully to keep sealed.
Police Chief William R. Kohnke released the documents concerning the July 3, 1992, incident on Wednesday, hours after the state Freedom of Information Commission voted unanimously to order their disclosure.
Case, 36, of Terryville, appealed his firing to the state Board of Mediation and Arbitation, claiming the discipline was too severe for his misconduct. That appeal is pending.
Case has maintained publicly that he had consensual sexual relations with the woman, who is now 38, while in her Divinity Street apartment. He was on duty and in uniform at the time.
The woman, who has not been identified by police, charged that she was raped by Case when she blacked out. Case denied raping the woman and told superiors that she seduced him, according to two internal affairs investigation reports Kohnke released Wednesday afternoon.
Police did not pursue criminal charges. They said investigators could not corroborate the woman’s claim.
The Freedom of Information Commission ruled Wednesday morning that the separate criminal investigation conducted by police into the rape claim did not have to be disclosed because it contains uncorroborated allegations.
The internal affairs reports offer this account of the woman’s allegations:
She was examined at Bristol Hospital for depression, then asked to use a telephone to call a neighbor at about 4:30 a.m. for a ride home. Case had earlier been dispatched to her apartment after she threatened suicide. At the hospital, he offered her a ride home, and she accepted. Case then continued his patrol.
About an hour later, the woman intended to dial 411 for a substance abuse hotline number but dialed 911 by accident. When she realized her mistake, she hung up. Case was then sent back to her apartment to check on her well-being.
At 5:32 a.m., Case radioed in that the woman was fine. But he remained to talk to her in her kitchen. The woman told Case that she was still depressed and unsure whether she should return to the hospital or go to bed.
Case told her that perhaps she should go to bed, according to her version of events. He then followed her into her bedroom, and the sexual encounter occurred when she blacked out, she told police. When she came to at 6:25 a.m., Case was still in her bedroom and standing over her, the woman claimed.
Moments after Case left the apartment, she became hysterical and called a rape crisis center and her boyfriend in Woodbury, who drove to Bristol and took her back to Bristol Hospital, she and her boyfriend said.
The woman told police that she had drunk five beers and used cocaine before having any contact with Case, and that she was upset over breaking four years of sobriety.
Case’s version differed on several points. He claimed that a nurse asked him to give the woman a ride home from the hospital and that once in the apartment alone with her, she seduced him.
Case made the seduction claims three weeks after the incident, although the report contains no description by him of the sexual encounter. When he was initially asked by superiors about the woman’s rape claim, he denied having any sexual contact with her.
“I didn’t touch her at all,” Case was quoted as telling investigators three hours after she filed the complaint.