PORTLAND, Ore. — The family of an Oregon homicide victim has filed a federal lawsuit against the community college that employed the man charged in the crime.

Police say Edwin Lara kidnapped Kaylee Sawyer in July 2016 while working as a campus safety officer at Central Oregon Community College.

The lawsuit filed Monday in Eugene asserts the woman accepted a ride from Lara, believing he was a police officer she could trust. Instead, she became trapped in a patrol car equipped with a cage and doors that wouldn’t open from the inside.

The lawsuit alleges the college failed to do an adequate background check on Lara and was negligent in providing officers with uniforms and vehicles made to resemble police.

Lara and three campus officials are also listed as defendants. Lara has pleaded not guilty to murder and other crimes.

Campus officials did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment.

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.