Women staged sexual assault. Man helped. Perpetrators not charged.
Prosecutors: Sexual Assaults Staged
By Marissa Cleaver
2009 01 23
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Federal Prosecutors say an alleged sexual assault and attack in the Waldo neighborhood was staged.
Federal prosecutors charged Julie Bernet, 39, of Bucrys, Mo. And Gordon Reabe, Jr., 33 of Lee’s Summit, Mo. with wire fraud on Thursday.
Court documents say Bernet and 23-year old Lindsey Crawford offered to pay Reabe $100,000 to duct tape them and assault both women inside Carwford’s garage on Nov. 25, 2008.
“I can honestly say this is one of the most bizarre crimes that I’ve dealt with. To have someone go to this length to have it look like something happened. It’s just absolutely amazing,” says Capt. Mark Fulsom with Kansas City Police Departments Special Victim’s Unit.
Prosecutors say the women hoped the attacks would force a higher settlement of their sexual harassment lawsuit against a former employer.
Bernet and Crawford filed the lawsuit against former employer Mercedes-Benz of Kansas City last year, citing gender discrimination, sexual harassment, hostile work environment and retaliation.
Court documents indicate Bernet ran across the street to a neighbor’s house, claiming two masked men attacked them the home minutes after Reabe assaulted them.
Both women indicated they believed this assault was related to their pending sexual harassment lawsuit.
“This alleged conduct had an impact not just on the former employer, for whom they were trying to get a civil settlement; it also had a huge drain on the resources of the Kansas City Police Department. And of course caused fear throughout the community,” says John Wood U.S. Attorney Western District.
Bernet is set to be in court on Tuesday, Jan. 27th.
A hearing date Reabe, who was arrested in Salt Lake City, has not been set.
Crawford has not been charged.
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