Federal lawsuit over police rape charge won’t succeed, city attorney predicts

Grand Junction City Attorney John Shaver said last week he would be “highly surprised” if a lawsuit against the Grand Junction Police Department and some of its former and current personnel is successful.

The lawsuit comes from a Grand Junction woman who accused former Grand Junction police officer Glen Coyne of raping her.

Shaver said the fact Grand Junction Police Chief John Camper fired Coyne last fall on the day Coyne was arrested shows the city did not condone what he allegedly did.

Shaver believes that may help the defendants, including Camper, former Police Chief Bill Gardner and Coyne’s former supervisor, with the lawsuit.

Shaver said the city rarely settles in police-related lawsuits, and he informed Grand Junction City Council members Friday they likely will hear a resolution in coming weeks indemnifying the suit’s defendants.

“It will defend them both individually and professionally,” he said of the resolution.

It was announced last week the case would move to federal district court.

Federal court is more experienced with cases such as these, Shaver said, adding he believes the federal appeals court is more predictable than state judges in how it views the constitution.

Shaver said he expects a judge to rule on the lawsuit by the end of the year.

Coyne committed suicide several days after bonding out of jail.


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