Margo Borders, 22, has filed a lawsuit against 44-year-old Brett Hankison, pictured, claiming he sexually assaulted her
The ex-Louisville cop charged with wanton endangerment for his actions in the police raid in which Breonna Taylor was killed has been hit with a lawsuit accusing him of sexual assault.
At least three women came forward during the summer to make informal claims on social media that Brett Hankison, 44, sexually assaulted or harassed them.
Many of the alleged incidents took place while he was wearing his police uniform or driving in his cop car.
One of those woman, 22-year-old Margo Borders, followed up her social media accusations Tuesday with a lawsuit that brands Hankison a ‘sexual predator’ who left her ‘physically injured and mentally battered’, according to the Courier Journal.
Borders, a local attorney and University of Louisville law school graduate, claims that Hankison ‘willfully, intentionally, painfully and violently’ sexually assaulted her after offering a ride to her apartment while he was wearing his uniform.
The lawsuit alleges that Hankison established a pattern of taking advantage of his authority position to make unwanted advances on vulnerable women decades younger than him.
The suit also names the club where Hankison worked in security on the side, as well as several other Louisville officers who allegedly failed to take action to protect women from the cop’s actions.
In the 24-page lawsuit, Borders claims she met Hankison in 2017 while he was working part-time in security at the club Tin Roof, after which they became social media friends.
According to WAVE 3 News, on one night in 2018, she was drinking with friends when Hankison offered her a ride home while he was wearing his LMPD uniform.
Margo Borders, pictured, first shared her story on social media in June but on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against Brett Hankison alleging he ‘willfully, intentionally, painfully and violently’ sexually assaulted her in her apartment after offering a ride home from the club he worked in
Accusing Hankison, Borders said: ‘He drove me home in uniform, in his marked car, invited himself into my apartment and sexually assaulted me while I was unconscious’
Hankison was indicted in September on three counts of wanton endangerment for his actions on the night of Breonna Taylor’s (pictured) death in March but has pleaded not guilty
He drove her to her apartment and invited himself inside. Borders said she left him on the couch but once she fell asleep, he went into her room and sexually assaulted her.
Borders said that she regained consciousness and yelled for the ex-cop to get off her, but the assault left her ‘bloodied’ and in ‘tremendous physical pain’.
The suit added that she ‘remained in emotional duress over both the assault and the feeling that any efforts made to hold Officer Hankison accountable for his actions would backfire.’
It continues that Hankison ‘messaged (her) later in the day to try and suggest that the two had engaged in consensual relations,’ a move her lawyer said was ‘true to (Hankison’s) playbook’.
‘When he offered to take her home, she was thrilled. He was a police officer. There was a sense of trust there. She didn’t have to pay for an uber, she was a broke law student,’ her attorney Sam Aguiar said.
Yet the suit also claims that this incident was part of a pattern established by Hankison in which he would befriend women in their 20s, added them on social media, and then insist on taking them home as a ‘good deed being done by a cop’.
He would then take advantage of their intoxicated states to sexually assault them, it alleges.
The suit includes the comments of nine other women who claim either inappropriate conduct or sexual assault by Hankison.
‘We hope through this civil litigation that Brett Hankison will be held accountable. That his conduct will be exposed, that it will be made clear that this is something LMPD tolerated, that they had notice of, that they never acted on,’ Aguiar said.
The accusations against Hankison came out over the summer as he was in the spotlight over his role in the Breonna Taylor case
‘In civil litigation, you can’t ask for this to have never happened. You can’t go back in time and day we want the result here to be we go in time machine and ask that you would have fired Brett Hankison so he didn’t do this to all of these women, so you have to ask for money damages.’
The actions taken in the lawsuit are assault and battery against Hankison and failure to report and intervene against five named and unnamed officers.
It names Chief Steve Conrad and multiple Metro Police officers, claiming that they ‘took no action to report, investigate or safeguard’ against Hankison’s abuse.
It also accuses the Tin Roof of knowing Hankison ‘routinely identified intoxicated young women, put them in his vehicle while in uniform and left the premises with them while already beginning to engage in visible misconduct’.
Hankison was indicted in September on three counts of wanton endangerment for his actions on the night of Taylor’s death in March but has pleaded not guilty.
He had previously been fired from the department following the raid.
As his photo began to circulate in the media attention surrounding Taylor’s case during the summer, several women made claims on social media that they were among his assault victims.
Borders was not the first to come forward but according to WAVE 3, she did speak up once other women started sharing their stories on social media.
In a June 4 post to Facebook she said: ‘In April of 2018 I went out to a bar with some friends. I went to call an uber home and a police officer who I had interacted with on many occasions at bars in St. Matthews offered me a ride home.
‘He drove me home in uniform, in his marked car, invited himself into my apartment and sexually assaulted me while I was unconscious.
‘I never reported him out of fear of retaliation. I had no proof of what happened, and he had the upper hand because he was a police officer. Who do you call when the person who assaulted you is a police officer? Who were they going to believe?’
Border was encouraged to speak out, she says, after hearing the stories of Emily Terry and Morgan Miller who had previously posted their stories to social media.
Emily Terry, pictured, spoke out amid protests citing the death of Taylor in Louisville in the fight against police brutality. She says Hankison assaulted her in his police car
Terry, who appears to have recently graduated as a physician assistant from Sullivan University, wrote on Facebook in June: ‘He began making sexual advances towards me; rubbing my thigh, kissing my forehead, and calling me “baby”
Terry wrote: ‘This is Brett Hankison. In early fall, I began walking home from a bar intoxicated.
‘A police officer pulled up next to me and offered me a ride home. I thought to myself, “Wow. That is so nice of him.” And willingly got in.
‘He began making sexual advances towards me; rubbing my thigh, kissing my forehead, and calling me “baby”. Mortified, I did not move. I continued to talk about my grad school experiences and ignored him.
‘As soon as he pulled up to my apartment building, I got out of the car and ran to the back. My friend reported this the next day, and of course nothing came from it.’
The third accusation was made by Miller who wrote in a Facebook post that she was repeatedly pushed by a uniformed Hankison to take a ride home while outside a bar in Louisville.
Morgan Miller, pictured, also posted her story to Facebook on June 5 in which she claimed that officer Hankison had attempted to give her a ride home in his cop car from a Louisville bar
Miller said in her post, pictured, that a uniformed Hankison approached her and added her on Snapchat. Days later he began sending her unsolicited explicit pictures and videos
She refused but he asked her to hand over her phone and he took her number and added her on social media app Snapchat.
‘He took my number and scanned my Snapchat ID. He then tried tirelessly to persuade me to get me into his car,’ Miller wrote.
‘He even begged under the guise to provide me with “a safe ride home.” I turned him down over and over, and luckily walked away unscathed.
‘Weeks later he started sending pictures and videos of himself masturbating via Snapchat. I blocked him immediately,’ she continued.
‘My story ended with unsolicited pictures of his penis and a blocked number. But I have no doubt that if I got into his car that night that my story, like many of the women coming forward, would be much worse.’
The suit filed in Jefferson County Court Tuesday seeks a jury trial and an undisclosed amount of monetary damages.
Hankison or the Tin Roof have not yet commented on the suit.
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer has said in June that the allegations against him were being investigated.
Taylor, a 26-year-old black emergency medical tech, was shot eight times on March 13 after officers including Hankison and his two colleagues Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove, knocked down the front door of the home she shared with boyfriend Kenneth Walker in a drugs raid. No drugs were found in the home.
None of the officers were charged with her death following weeks of unrests and protests over the case.