Sue Eberle Lakeland police sex scandal: Woman claims sexual harassment, plans to sue department

LAKELAND, Fla. - The attorney for Sue Eberle said Wednesday his office filed federal and state sexual harassment complaints against the city of Lakeland and the Lakeland Police Department, with their next legal action likely a lawsuit against the parties.

Attorney David Linesch of Palm Harbor spoke on behalf of his client to ABC Action News.  "Our investigation reveals a historic case of sexual harassment," he said.

As many as 10 Lakeland police officers, some of them Eberle's superiors, were involved in forced and consensual sex and sex actions over a 7-year period with Eberle, a criminal analyst now on paid administrative leave and with the department for 13 years, according to a statement from the City of Lakeland.

The State Attorney's Office is not pressing criminal charges. The Lakeland Police Department has launched an internal investigation. 

Eberle's husband was by her side Wednesday as Linesch revealed new details about the sex scandal. The couple did not speak and held hands as Linesch said, "Sue had few options to protect herself. Just the sheer number of officers involved indicates the culture of this."

Linesch revealed Eberle was the victim of incest at a young age. "When someone has that horrific experience, I'm not sure they understand and know how to say no. I there there was literally a feeding frenzy. They smelled vulnerability and they pounced," Linesch said.

Eberle remains on paid leave. Linesch said it's unlikely she has a future in law enforcement.

The Lakeland Police Department declined to comment on new developments while their internal investigation is still open, which could lead to suspensions and firings.

Lakeland City officials said they are currently reviewing a letter recently received by Eberle's attorney requesting a meeting to discuss future action.

 

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