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Woman, high-ranking cop exchanged texts after alleged rape: testimony

Ex-Markham Deputy Police Chief Tony D. DeBois | Sun-Times files

Ex-Markham Deputy Police Chief Tony D. DeBois | Sun-Times files

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Updated: April 15, 2014 6:21AM



A woman who claims a former Markham police supervisor raped her has admitted in federal court that she later called him “baby, baby, baby” in text messages — prompting the ex-cop’s lawyer to call her “a complete disaster of a witness.”

Former Deputy Chief Tony DeBois is facing up to five years in prison for lying to the FBI that he never had sex with any women other than his fiancee in the Markham police station in the south suburbs.

In a guilty plea in September, DeBois acknowledged having sex with women other than his future wife in the station. Even though he continues to deny the alleged rape, prosecutors are using that allegation to argue for a maximum sentence for DeBois. DeBois’ attorneys are seeking probation for him. U.S. District Judge Joan Lefkow is scheduled to sentence DeBois on April 8.

In a hearing Wednesday, the woman admitted exchanging 135 text messages with DeBois after the alleged rape on Sept. 23, 2010, according to Terry Ekl, one of DeBois’ attorneys. The woman acknowledged some of the texts were sexually suggestive, according to Ekl.

But the woman, who has not been identified, previously told a grand jury she never texted DeBois after the alleged rape, Ekl said.

Ekl said he asked the woman if she ever brought a fried chicken dinner to DeBois at the station after the alleged rape — but she said she could not recall.

Ekl said the woman’s testimony shows her rape claim is bogus.

“There is no playbook on how sexual assault victims act after they are attacked,” Ekl said in an interview on Thursday. “But there are certain things you don’t do as a victim. You don’t text him 135 times and you don’t lie to the grand jury and law enforcement. She was a complete disaster as a witness.”

During Wednesday’s hearing, though, a federal prosecutor said the woman didn’t have any reason to lie that she was raped. The government put FBI agents, a state police investigator and other witnesses on the stand to present evidence corroborating the woman’s account of a sexual assault.

Prosecutors have said the woman was brought to the station with a male associate who was arrested at a gas station on counterfeiting charges. She was locked in a holding cell for about half an hour when an officer brought her to DeBois’ office, prosecutors said.

DeBois allegedly told the woman she “was in a lot of trouble” and ordered her to have oral sex and intercourse with him. She was released afterward, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors have conceded in court papers that the woman “has not been consistent when recalling how much contact she had with defendant after September 23, 2010.” But prosecutors said there’s no evidence her “inconsistent recollections on this point are malicious.”

After the texts were discovered, the woman told authorities they “were intended to make herself feel less victimized and were an effort to feel like the assault never took place,” prosecutors said.

Email: fmain@suntimes.com



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