By: ELIZABETH WEST
The lawsuits keep coming against the City of Ville Platte for the actions of its law enforcement officers.
In the most recent federal lawsuit filed on Friday, plaintiff Maria Joseph alleges that Ville Platte City Marshall Deputy Arthur Phillips forced her to have sex with another man in Fenton, La., “while Arthur watched.”
According to the lawsuit, the incident occurred on Friday, May 5, 2017, when Joseph was “approached by Arthur Phillips,” in Ville Platte, and “asked for her phone number, which she gave.”
When Phillips contacted the plaintiff, he “asked if she wanted to take a ride to Kinder.” In the suit, Joseph claims that she agreed to go with Phillips because she “assumed it was a date.”
However, according to the plaintiff, when Phillips picked her up “dressed in his uniform and driving a marked Ville Platte City Marshall unit,” he “drove her to Fenton, Louisiana; not Kinder.”
In the lawsuit it claims that once they arrived in Fenton, Phillips brought Joseph to his apartment, and then “called a couple of friends and neighbor, ‘Chris’ and ‘Ike,’ to come over and visit.”
After asking his friends if they had any money, Phillips then proceeded to “instruct the plaintiff to go ahead and touch Chris.”
Joseph claims that after “she told the men she didn’t do prostitution,” Phillips “proceeded to physically push Joseph onto Chris.”
According to the lawsuit, Phillips then “told her to give Chris oral sex and to do it for daddy.”
After the plaintiff denied Phillips’ request, Chris told Phillips “to leave the plaintiff alone and left the apartment.”
Later that night, Phillips and Joseph went to a nearby store. Once they arrived back at his apartment, Phillips “handed Ike $10.00 and asked him to go buy some weed, which he did.”
At around 11:30 p.m., the owner of the store they had just gone to – Joe – arrived at Phillips’ apartment with $120.
After the store owner and Joseph smoked weed, Phillips “told the plaintiff to hug Joe, and she did.”
According to the lawsuit, “While hugging Joe, Arthur Phillips pushed them together and told Maria Joseph, ‘come on shorty, do it for daddy.’”
Joseph then “proceeded to have sex with Joe while Arthur watched.”
According to the suit, “The assault lasted from about 11:30 p.m. to 2:00 a.m., when she fell asleep.”
Joseph was then awoken by Phillips “around 4:30 a.m.” Saturday morning. The plaintiff alleges that this is when “she told” Phillips “to bring her home.”
However, instead Phillips drove the plaintiff to a store, where he “purchased Tanqueray (gin) and some food,” and then he returned with the plaintiff to his apartment.
Phillips then “told the plaintiff that he wanted her to watch him have sex with his girlfriend.” Phillips’ girlfriend, however, was “furious,” and picked up a gun that was in the Marshall Deputy’s apartment.
It was at this point that Phillips proceeded to call the “Jefferson Davis Sheriff’s Office for help.”
According to the suit, when deputies arrived, Phillips “went outside to explain” what happened.
The deputies then arrested Joseph and “accused her of prostitution.”
Days later, Phillips was also arrested by the JDSO for soliciting prostitution, and then released from jail on bond.
Both individuals were released from jail on bond.
Since the incident, Phillips was suspended from the VP City Mashall’s Office, and fired from his position with the Chataignier Police Department where he worked as a patrolman.
According to Ville Platte City Marshall Ronald Doucet, an internal investigation is being performed with assistance from the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office and will be complete next week.
Doucet said, “Once the internal investigation is complete we will be able to determine what we are going to do in terms of whether Arhur Phillips will be let go or not.”
Until then, Phillips will remain on administrative leave from the marshall’s office with pay.