Former officer accused of post-arrest assault sued

The Associated Press

Covert Township, Mich. – A civil rights lawsuit has been filed against a former southwestern Michigan police officer accused of kidnapping and sexually assaulting a woman he arrested for drunken driving.

Attorneys sued Friday in western Michigan’s U.S. District Court against Erich Fritz on behalf of the victim, Melissa McMillan. She was arrested in July 2016 in Van Buren County’s Covert Township, also named in the suit.

Fritz took her to a hotel, where, McMillan alleges, he assaulted her.

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

The Associated Press typically doesn’t publish sexual assault victims’ names 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.