A North Carolina teen and her mother are suing a former Charlotte cop, who has been in prison since 2017 for raping and impregnating her.
According to the Charlotte Observer, in 2015, Lowell police officer Paul Blair met the victim when she went missing at the age of 13.
Later, Blair requested to be the teen’s mentor. The lawsuit claims that it was a part of Blair’s duties to be a law enforcement mentor and work with children.
Further, the officer began showing up at the girl’s house late at night, giving her candy, and volunteering to drive her around in his police car.
As the Charlotte Observer reports, Blair allegedly told the victim’s parents multiple times that they could possibly be arrested if they questioned the nature of his relationship with their daughter.
During some of those cruiser rides, Blair has been accused of raping the teen girl while he was still on duty.
According to the lawsuit, in 2016, at the age of 14, the teen discovered she was pregnant with Blair’s son and gave birth in 2017, WBAL11 reports.
— Jenna Barnes (@Jenna_Barnes) September 1, 2016
In 2017, Blair, a husband and father, pleaded guilty to statutory rape and was sentenced to12 years in prison.
Shortly after his arrest, he violated the terms of his plea by trying to get a letter to the teen girl.
Now, as the Charlotte Observer reports, the teen and her mother are seeking damages for “severe physical and mental injuries” caused by Blair and want to be reimbursed for the costs of delivering and raising his son.
They are also seeking punitive and compensatory damages. The claim states the victim was deprived “of her right to freedom from unlawful assault, battery and sexual contact at the hands of police.”
Further, the lawsuit accuses Lowell police Chief Scott Bates and the city of Lowell of negligence because they hired Blair in 2013, despite having knowledge of his past.
Charlotte attorney Brad Smith, whose firm filed the complaint, said:
“The biggest issue here is that Blair had a long and well-known history of engaging in this kind of behavior, and the city of Lowell knew about it. What happened to this child is tragic and horrible. Presumably, it could have been prevented.”
However, Scott MacLatchie, Lowell city attorney, denies the allegations that the police department and city officials had knowledge of Blair’s past.
According to the Charlotte Observer, Maclatchie said:
“It’s very unfortunate what happened to this girl and her family. It is my position that the person responsible is in prison right now, and that the city of Lowell is in no way responsible for what this man did off duty and on his own time.”
Blair is now 53 and being held in Pamlico Correctional Institution until his scheduled release in 2029.