CHICAGO (AP) — A former Chicago police officer has been indicted on a federal civil rights charge for allegedly kidnapping and sexually abusing someone while on duty, U.S. prosecutors said Wednesday.
James Sajdak, 64, of Chicago, was charged with one count of deprivation of rights under “color of law,” or government authority, according to an indictment unsealed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Chicago. The charge is punishable by up to life in federal prison.
The abuse allegedly happened on March 5, 2019, the indictment said.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Sajdak resigned from the police department the following month after 29 years on the force, according to the department.
Sajdak’s defense attorney, Timothy Grace, noted his client's decades as a police officer and told the newspaper, “We look forward to confronting the evidence.”
Sajdak and the city of Chicago also faced a federal lawsuit stemming from the episode, WBBM-TV reported.
A transgender woman sued Sajdak and the city in 2019, accusing Sajdak of sexually assaulting her, the broadcaster reported. The lawsuit accused Sajdak of approaching her and demanding a sex act. The Associated Press generally does not identify people who say they have been sexually assaulted.
The lawsuit also claimed the city “knew or was recklessly blind to” a pattern of misconduct by Sadjak. It said he had faced at least 44 misconduct complaints by 2019.