Assaulted, Innocent, Pregnant, and Arrested: Abuse Survivor Files Lawsuit Against Alexandria Police
Written by: Sam Orlando
In a new federal lawsuit filed at the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Isatu Sesay, a US citizen and Virginia resident, has accused three officers of the Alexandria Police Department of false arrest and deprivation of liberty.
The plaintiff, Isatu Sesay, has been residing in Alexandria, Virginia, since 2012. The defendants, Officers John Doe, Jane Doe, and Philip Hetzner, are employees of the Alexandria Police Department.
According to the lawsuit, filed on Friday July 14, 2023, Sesay made multiple emergency calls to the Alexandria Police Department from 2020 reporting instances of domestic violence by Ibrahim Sesay, the father of her two children. Despite her reports, no action was taken by the police department to investigate her claims.
The situation escalated in July 2021, when Sesay, then pregnant, called the police after Mr. Sesay had allegedly stalked, harassed, and struck her. Defendants Officer John Doe and Officer Jane Doe responded to her call. Instead of taking a report of the domestic violence, the officers arrested Ms. Sesay on a warrant for a different person named Isatu Sesay who lived in Maryland.
Despite Ms. Sesay presenting her Virginia-issued driver’s license and stating she had never lived in Maryland, the officers proceeded with the arrest. She was detained for approximately two days, during which she experienced severe stress and illness related to her pregnancy.
It wasn't until a detective from the Prince George's County Police Department in Maryland met with Ms. Sesay that she was cleared of the criminal charges in the Maryland case. However, her wrongful arrest has had lasting impacts, including hindering her employment opportunities and causing her severe emotional distress.
The lawsuit's causes of action include false arrest against all defendants, and unreasonable search and seizure and deprivation of liberty against Defendants Officer John Doe and Officer Jane Doe, citing violations of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution.
Sesay seeks compensatory damages to be determined at trial, costs and expenses, reasonable attorney’s fees under 42 U.S.C. § 1988, and pre-judgment and post-judgment interest. The plaintiff also demands a jury trial on all counts.