CHICAGO — On Monday, the City of Chicago Finance Committee approved a $300,000 settlement for a Chicago police officer who said she was sexually abused while on the job by another officer. That same officer was accused of sexual misconduct in 2003 — which ended in a $60,000 settlement with the city.
After the first settlement against Officer Gerald Breimon, the accuser took the money and left the state — refusing to speak further about the case. Breimon was charged, but never convicted, and he has remained on the force since. He was even elevated to lieutenant while he was being investigated.
“I don’t want it to happen to anyone else...,” Janell Riedl, the first woman to accuse Breimon, said in 2003. “I don’t feel like it’s the first time it’s happened and I don’t want to see it happen to anyone else.”
Riedl said she was stopped for an alleged traffic violation near Lane Tech High School when she was 25. Riedl said she was fondled and said the officer was working alone and even took pictures of her.
Breimon was indicted, got desk duty, but charges were later dropped when his accuser recanted her story.
Officer Kelly Hespe said she was harassed and sexually abused by Breimon. She was 42 at the time when the incidents happened.
Both women came forward to tell their stories to WGN about Breimon. They did it 10 years apart. He was a connected police officer whose mother had clout within the department. Each woman had their own story of pursuit, harassment and sexual abuse.
Hespe said the abuse against her went on for years. She said it began with consensual sex, but it morphed into inappropriate on-the-job trysts that she claims she couldn’t put an end to. Hespe said she continued to have sex with Breimon just to keep her job.
On Monday, the finance committee approved a $300,000 payout to Hespe who said she suffered from PTSD. Neither she nor her lawyer said a word.
There appeared to be much discussion among aldermen about blame and the events that led up to the alleged sexual abuse of Hespe during the finance committee meeting, but the $300,000 settlement was still approved.
The full City Council will vote on the final payout on Wednesday.