DEKALB, Illinois — A federal judge has ruled that the civil rights of a former Northern Illinois University police officer accused of raping a student weren't violated by three other officers who he accused of mishandling evidence in the case.
Andrew Rifkin, 27, said the university withheld transcripts of interviews with witnesses who said the relationship between him and the alleged victim was consensual. But on Tuesday, Federal District Judge Phillip Reinhard dismissed Rifkin's civil lawsuit against former NIU Chief of Police Donald Grady and NIU investigators Kartik Ramakrishnan and Jason John, saying the evidence had been disclosed and could be used in the upcoming criminal trial.
In February 2013, Grady was fired after the allegations against Rifkin. Grady previously was lauded for his handling of the Feb. 14, 2008, shootings on the school's campus.
Grady's attorney, Michael Fox, told The (DeKalb) Daily Chronicle (http://bit.ly/1RU61f5 ) that he's pleased the lawsuit was dismissed but it might not be enough to restore his client's reputation.
"You can't work in law enforcement with that kind of a cloud hanging over you," Fox said. "The cloud was created by the allegations that the university used to terminate his employment. That's what we're in the midst of litigating."
Fox said he and Grady are reviewing information for a pending wrongful termination lawsuit against Northern Illinois University.
The statement issued by judge Reinhard hasn't yet been reviewed by Rifkin's lawyers, said attorney David Smolin, who's representing the former NIU police officer along with attorney Bruce Brandwein.
"We haven't decided yet if we agree with the court's decision or not," Smolin said. "We want to discuss it with our client before we decide what we want to do."
Rifkin is charged with sexually assaulting a Northern Illinois University freshman at his Cortland apartment in October 2011. He has pleaded not guilty.
Information from: The Daily Chronicle, http://www.daily-chronicle.com