Insurance company settles lawsuit

Thursday, April 3, 2003

Daily Statesman

DEXTER, Mo. -- The civil lawsuit filed against the city of Dexter, city officials and former police officers has been settled by the city's insurance company.

Word was received this week that the lawsuit filed on behalf of the three victims in the case involving former Dexter police officer Robert Kennedy has been settled, with the three victims each monetary compensation.

"Savers Property & Casualty Insurance Company, as the insurer for the city of Dexter, Mo., Ken Rinehart and John Pruitt paid Susan McCarty, Leah Tippen and Crystal Vaughn, the total amount of $242,500 in full settlement of all their claims in case No. 1:01CV00164, including all claims against Robert Kennedy, a former police officer for the city of Dexter, Mo.," according to St. Louis attorney D. Keith Henson, who represented the insurance carrier.

No other details regarding the settlement were made public; U.S. District Judge E. Richard Webber signed an order Wednesday sealing the settlement agreements. The federal lawsuit alleged the city of Dexter, former mayor, John Pruitt, and three of its police officers were negligent and violated the constitutional and civil rights of the three women, as well as the infliction of emotional distress.

The suit was filed in October 2001 against Robert E. Kennedy, Chief Ken Rinehart and Lt. Sammy W. Stone by Dexter attorney Stephen Holden on behalf of McCarty and Vaughn.

Kennedy pleaded guilty in September 2001 to two counts of statutory rape and one count of deviant sexual intercourse involving the women. Kennedy was placed on five years supervised probation and other conditions.

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