Victim sues officer accused of assaulting her after stop

Posted at 4:00 PM, Jul 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-16 16:00:46-04

***In a story July 13 about a police officer accused of assaulting a woman after a traffic stop, The Associated Press erroneously reported that Melissa McMillan was arrested for drunken driving. The driver was arrested, not McMillan, who was a passenger.

COVERT TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A civil rights lawsuit has been filed against a former southwestern Michigan police officer accused of kidnapping and sexually assaulting a woman after a traffic stop.

Attorneys sued Erich Fritz on Friday in federal court in western Michigan on behalf of Melissa McMillan. The lawsuit says he was a Covert Township officer in 2016 when he took McMillan to a hotel and assaulted her.

McMillan was a passenger in a car that was stopped for suspected drunken driving. The driver was arrested.

Fritz pleaded no contest to unlawful imprisonment and was sentenced to a year in jail. Criminal sexual conduct and kidnapping charges were dropped.

The Associated Press typically doesn’t publish the names of sexual assault victims, but McMillan has publicly identified herself.

The AP couldn’t reach Fritz for comment.

His criminal defense attorney, Scott Grabel, doesn’t represent Fritz in the civil case but has reviewed it. Grabel says there appears to be different facts and allegations in the two cases.