- Associated Press - Thursday, October 27, 2016

POWELL, Wyo. (AP) - A Wyoming judge has ruled the City of Powell and its police department cannot be held liable for a sexual assault committed by one of its officers while he was on duty.

The Powell Tribune reports (bit.ly/2eAeLbJ) the ruling came in a lawsuit seeking $250,000 in damages for a woman who was assaulted by officer Kirk Chapman in September 2011.

The lawsuit said Chapman had given the woman a ride home from a bar, then went back to check on her and assaulted her. He pleaded guilty to third-degree sexual assault.

District Court Judge Steven Cranfill’s ruling said under state law, a government is only liable for an officer’s misconduct if their actions were within the scope of their duties.

Attorney Brian Hanify argued the welfare check was within Chapman’s scope of duty. Cranfill ruled Friday the welfare check ended when the assault began.

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Information from: Powell (Wyo.) Tribune, https://www.powelltribune.com

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