- Associated Press - Monday, January 30, 2017

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) - A former police officer who is suing the city of Lawrence for defamation was allowed to resign after a female officer accused him of beating her, chaining her inside a dog kennel and choking her until she blacked out, according to a recent court filing.

The city released the information in responding this month to former Officer William Burke’s lawsuit, The Lawrence Journal-World (https://bit.ly/2kgucZY ) reports. Burke claims consensual sex led to his February 2015 arrest. He was released the next day after prosecutors decided not to file charges. Burke is seeking $525,000 in damages in the lawsuit, which was filed in September in federal court.

He remains licensed to work as a police officer in Kansas, although he isn’t currently doing so. The female accuser also no longer works for the Lawrence Police Department.

Asked why the city accepted Burke’s resignation after his arrest, Lawrence City Attorney Toni Wheeler declined to comment on the case, citing the pending litigation. Burke’s attorney, Theodore Lickteig, didn’t immediately return a phone message from The Associated Press.

Among the evidence the city says investigators collected are text messages from Burke to the female officer in which he said he had “never hit a girl before” and that “I need to get myself in order.”

The city said in its recent court filing that the female officer told investigators that she had occasionally engaged in bondage with Burke but that a January 2015 encounter went too far. She said that after she was choked until she blacked out, Burke demanded that she undress, get in a dog kennel and hand over her cell phone and password.

She told investigators that he then “took a thick chain and wrapped it around the dog kennel to prevent her from leaving” and later swung a mallet at the kennel.

She said she spent the night with Burke after he freed her because “she felt it was safer to stay with Burke than to try and leave.” The next morning the woman said she took pictures of her injuries, which include hemorrhaging to her face and swelling on her top lip, the report says.

The report says Burke told her to wear makeup and “keep her mouth shut.” The woman told investigators “she was hesitant to report the incident” and that “Burke owned several firearms and had told her several times that he could kill her and that he knew people who could make her body disappear,” the report says.


Information from: Lawrence (Kan.) Journal-World, https://www.ljworld.com

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