CHARLESTON - In less than a fortnight, a former Dunbar police officer has been sued, and convicted on separate allegations he unlawfully arrested women for purpose of having sex with them.
U.S. District Judge Thomas E. Johnston sentenced Raymond O. Conley,40, on April 21 to one year in prison for violating a woman's civil rights. Conley was indicted via information in October on a felony charge of depriving someone of rights under color of law, but entered a plea of guilty to a misdemeanor charge in December.
Records show Conley's plea agreement included he resign from DPD, where he earned the rank of sergeant, and surrender his law enforcement certificate. Following his release from prison, Johnston ordered Conley to a year of supervised probation.
According to court records, Conley on July 19 stopped a woman on the suspicion she had a weapon on her. His search of the woman, who is not named in court records, was done for the sole purpose of "personal gratification, including fondling her breasts, and pelvic area."
Upon finding a small amount of marijuana on her, Conley placed her under arrest. However, instead of taking her jail, Conley took the woman "in or near a remote area in the city of Dunbar where he had sexual intercourse with her."
As promised, Conley released the woman from custody after they had sex. No charges were filed against her.
In his sentencing memorandum submitted on April 14, Michael DelGiudice, Conley's attorney, asked that Conley be placed on probation instead of being sent to prison. Absent this incident, DelGiudice said, Conley has an exemplary record as a police officer, and his life would be in danger if incarcerated.
Also, DelGiudice said while Conley accepts responsibility for what he did, "he does not agree with the specific accounts as set forth by the victim and other related reports." Without downplaying what happened, DelGiudice said that the victim going to an attorney before seeking medical treatment, counseling or informing police suggest an ulterior motive.
"Through her counsel, the victim has made insinuations that she intends to pursue a civil action against this Defendant and the City of Dunbar," DelGiudice said. "Apparently, the victim will be made whole through monetary compensation in a civil suit."
Three months apart
One woman already has filed suit against Conley seeking damages from his unprofessional, and inappropriate behavior. Lora Beth Farley alleges in a lawsuit filed in Kanawha Circuit Court on April 12 that Conley not only knowingly arrested her on a dismissed warrant, but also had her jailed for refusing to have sex with him.
In her suit, Farley alleges her boyfriend, Aaron Urban, met her outside of her place of employment in Jefferson sometime between 3:30 and 4 a.m. on Saturday April 11, 2009, to take her back to the home they shared in Charleston. Farley's workplace is not stated in court records.
Prior to leaving Jefferson, Farley maintains she and Urban noticed a police cruiser parked across the street. It was not until Urban was preparing to cross the Dunbar Bridge from U.S. 60 to Interstate 64 in Dunbar that they noticed the cruiser following them.
After they traveled through Dunbar, and were 1-2 miles east on the Interstate past the city, Farley alleges Conley, who was driving the cruiser, stopped them. Despite Urban obeying all traffic laws, Farley says Conley's stated reason for stopping them was for improperly traveling in the left lane, and failure to make a signal when he entered the Interstate.
During the stop, Urban admitted he could not find the registration since the car was titled to his father, and he did not posses a valid driver's license. After asking Urban to exit the vehicle and follow him to his cruiser, Farley alleges Conley returned with Urban and asked her to exit the vehicle.
After conducting a pat-down, in which he made inappropriate contact with her "'private areas,'" Conley ordered Farley into the backseat of the cruiser. Shortly thereafter, Farley alleges Conley drove away leaving Urban alone in his car.
According to her suit, Farley alleges Conley informed her she was being placed under arrest for a capias issued by Kanawha Magistrate Kim Aaron on charges related to domestic battery and destruction of property. Court records show, Farley was arrested on Sept. 26, 2006, after she struck her mother, Renea Farley, on her face, and smashed her cell phone on the ground.
Lora was released on $1,000 personal recognizance bond. Aaron issued the capias on Jan. 10, 2007 when Farley failed to show for a scheduled bench trial.
As he drove toward South Central Regional Jail in South Charleston, Conley invited Farley, who was not handcuffed, into the front seat of his cruiser. At first she didn't, but she later relented.
Twice, while in she was in the front of the cruiser, Farley alleges Conley implied he would let her go if she had sex with him. Both times Farley said she " 'didn't want to do anything.'"
Farley says Conley then demanded to see her breasts. She complied, "fearful of the consequences of failing to meet this demand."
Nevertheless, Conley proceeded to take Farley to South Central where she remained for three days. Records show she was released after Aaron notified the jail that she recalled the capias over a year earlier on March 19, 2008, when she dismissed the charges after Renea Farley failed to show for a new bench trial.
Conley, Farley alleges, "was aware, or should have been award, of this fact."
In her nine-count suit, Farley makes claims against both Conley and the city for civil rights violations, false arrest, false imprisonment, assault, negligent supervision and intentional infliction of emotional distress. As a result of Conley's actions, Farley alleges she's "suffered severe emotional distress and mental anguish affecting her psychological well-being."
Farley seeks unspecified damages, court costs and attorney fees. She is represented by Hurricane attorney D. Adrian Hoosier.
The case is assigned to Judge James C. Stucky.
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia, case number 09-cr-230; Kanawha Circuit Court, case number 10-C-687