WACO, Texas (KWTX) – A City of Marlin employee who alleges former Falls County Sheriff Ricky Scaman sexually assaulted her two years ago has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against Scaman and Falls County.
The woman is seeking unspecified monetary damages against Scaman, who pleaded no contest in March to misdemeanor official oppression and was placed on deferred probation.
The city of Marlin animal control and code enforcement officer is identified by name as the plaintiff in the lawsuit, filed Wednesday in Waco’s U.S. District Court. However, KWTX is withholding her name because she is an alleged victim of sexual assault.
Neither Scaman nor his attorney, Shane Phelps, of Bryan, returned phone messages Thursday.
Scaman, 50, who was defeated for re-election to a second term by Sheriff Joe Lopez, vowed he would fight pending charges, win re-election and return to law enforcement. He was charged in a five-count indictment in September 2020 that involved two alleged victims — a Falls County employee and the city of Marlin employee.
He was arrested again in August 2021 after a Falls County grand jury returned a superseding seven-count indictment that involved three alleged victims and included two counts of sexual assault, two counts of assault of a public servant and three counts of misdemeanor official oppression.
Scaman’s plea bargain included an agreement by the Texas Attorney General’s Office to dismiss all the felony counts and all but one of the official oppression counts. Scaman also agreed to surrender his state peace officer’s license and pay a $1,000 fine.
The Marlin city employee alleges in her lawsuit that she responded to a fire in August 2020 and Scaman was there. Later, on Aug. 5, 2020, Scaman called her and asked her to meet him at the fire scene.
“On that date, after meeting Scaman, Plaintiff was sexually assaulted by Scaman,” the suit alleges.
The woman reported the alleged assault to the Texas Rangers, according to the lawsuit, which notes that at that time, Scaman had four sexual assault complaints alleged against him.
“Despite this, there was no apparent policy or education on workplace harassment for employees in the Falls County Sheriff’s Office,” the suit alleges. “There was also no apparent supervision or workplace accountability for Sheriff Scaman, despite his track record of abuse.
“Rather than implementing policies or procedures to protect government employees, the Falls County Sheriff’s Office pushed the burden onto the people of Falls County to elect a sheriff who would not sexually assault his co-workers,” according to the lawsuit.
The suit alleges the woman suffered, and will continue to suffer, “generally physical, mental and psychological damages in the form of extreme and enduring worry, grief, suffering, pain, humiliation, embarrassment, mental anguish and emotional distress.”
“Scaman’s rampant history of abuse is apparent in all these cases alleging sexual harassment and sexual assault,” the suit claims. “Despite these allegations, Scaman remained in power, and it seems he repeatedly took advantage of his position to put women in terrible situations.”
Two other women who alleged Scaman made unwanted advances and sexually harassed them filed federal lawsuits against Scaman four years ago. Those suits were resolved by out-of-court, undisclosed settlements.
A former dispatcher and jailer claimed in her civil case that Scaman called her into his office on more than 20 occasions and licked her face, groped her and sexually assaulted her. The second woman alleged Scaman subjected her to gender discrimination, sexual harassment and created a hostile work environment that forced her to leave her job.
Scaman was also reprimanded while working as a Texas Alcohol Beverage Commission officer after he posed for a photograph with a topless performer at a Waco gentlemen’s club.
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