Two more alleged victims have come forward to accuse a former Syracuse cop of sexually abusing them while he was on the job — while a third revealed to the Daily News harrowing details of her alleged encounter with the disgraced officer.
The women all claim Chester Thompson forced them to perform sex acts on him while he was armed and in uniform.
The department booted Thompson in December 2015 after the rogue cop pleaded guilty to official misconduct, a misdemeanor. Under the arrangement with Syracuse District Attorney William J. Fitzpatrick, the disgraced officer ducked any jail time and was instead sentenced to three years’ probation.
The case was based on complaints filed by Maleatra Montanez, 40, and Kimi Fletcher, 35.
Thompson admitted to having sex with Montanez on Valentine’s Day 2015 after she called 911 and he came to her home.
In May, Montanez filed a $7 million suit against Thompson and the Syracuse Police Department. That case is pending.
The former cop has also confessed to sexual encounters with Fletcher on three separate dates.
But he insists it was all consensual.
Thompson, who now works for Blue Camel Water and Pools, declined to comment when reached at the company Monday.
Speaking publicly for the first time, Fletcher told the News she was abused by Thompson in June 2013 after she called 911 to help force her teenage daughters to go to school.
Thompson said there was nothing he could do regarding the young girl, but asked to talk to Fletcher, 35, in private.
Inside her bedroom, he locked the door and started to rub his penis and ordered the mother of five to remove her pants, according to Fletcher.
“And I’m like, ‘Are you serious right now? You can’t be serious right now,'” she recalled.
According to Fletcher, he replied, “You’re not gonna take your pants off? Then open your mouth.”
Scared for her life, she complied.
But the alleged abuse didn’t stop after that encounter.
Thompson regularly dropped by her home and made up bogus excuses about a required follow up for the visits, according to Fletcher.
“He would call me private like crazy,” she alleged. “He would like give everybody on my street tickets… and tell me to come outside.”
Fletcher says he forced her again to perform oral sex on two of those occasions. But she was scared to report the abuse to the same department where Thompson worked.
“This whole time all of my friends kept telling me to go to the cops before it gets way, way out of hand and I was just afraid to do so,” she said.
“He’s a cop,” she added. “They’re not going to believe me so I’ll just deal with it until he decides to go away.”
That all changed after she heard media reports about Montanez, who publicly came forward after the Valentine’s Day assault in 2015.
“I thought, ‘Oh my God! He’s doing this to other girls too,” she said. “And I felt responsible because I never came forward. If I’d come forward I probably could have saved them.”
So she reached out to prosecutors.
Her allegations were part of the criminal charges filed against Thompson.
But she now believes it was all for naught because Thompson was never charged with rape.
“It sucks,” she said. “I feel like we got robbed. When he got probation, my heart just dropped. I said, ‘What was the point of even coming forward?’ Nothing ever happens.”
Syracuse assistant district attorney Jeremy Cali contends he couldn’t hit Thompson with tougher charges because the women never explicitly refused his sexual advances.
That loophole exists under an apparent oddity in New York State law.
“If we could have charged him with rape we would have charged him,” he said. “The implication that we are protecting him because he’s law enforcement is B.S.”
Still, Cali believes the women were intimidated during their encounters with Thompson.
One lawyer familiar with the case has questioned the DA’s decision.
Ed Sivin, who is handling Montanez’s civil case, points out that the law defines “forcible compulsion” as “a threat, express or implied.”
Cali questioned Sivin’s knowledge of the criminal statute, arguing he desperately tried to find ways to bring more serious charges against Thompson.
“There was no forcible compulsion here,” he said. “I only have the power to prosecute someone for violating a statute.
“There was no lack of consent other than in her mind,” he said referring to the Montanez case.
Before Montanez filed her case, an anonymous caller told her that the Syracuse Police Department had previously looked into similar allegations against Thompson but did nothing.
Cali said he never asked the department to hand over Thompson’s personnel file, arguing that it would not be helpful to bolster the criminal case.
The Syracuse Police Department rejected a Freedom of Information Law request filed by the News seeking the personnel file. The department’s lawyer argued that record was protected due to privacy laws.
That’s difficult for the alleged victims to understand.
For Shakina Thompson, now 30, the nightmare started after she called 911 during a domestic dispute with her girlfriend approximately 10 years ago.
“Something was off immediately,” recalled Thompson, who is not related to the former cop. “He made a comment about…trying to figure out what I look like underneath my T-shirt.”
She found the remark strange because her shirt was down to her knees.
He then allegedly promised to have her girlfriend arrested on aggravated harassment charges if she had sex with him.
“I was just staring at him. I was just confused,” she told the News.
“I didn’t know what to do,” she added. “I felt violated.”
The alleged abuse didn’t stop after that incident. He returned to her home at least two other times where similar assaults played out, according to the mother of two.
At one point, he came to her house while she was sleeping and tried to open the locked front door, she said.
“Someone was messing with the door handle,” she remembered. “My neighbor said it was a cop. Then he called me and said, ‘It was me.’ He was dressed in uniform.”
She never reported the assaults to the police because she thought other officers would never believe her.
“They’d ask why I never said anything before,” she said. “I just kind of let it go.”
That decision has haunted her.
“If I would have said something sooner he never would have had an opportunity to do it to anyone else,” she said. “The situation would have been taken care of sooner.”
Liz ElBayadi has had similar questions.
She was celebrating her 18th birthday when she was allegedly assaulted by Chester Thompson at an outdoor summer concert in 1997.
“He followed me into a port-a-potty,” she recalled.
Liz ElBayadi, now 37, had been drinking at the concert despite being underage.
When she went to the port-a-potty she was confronted by a man in a police uniform who identified himself as “Chett.”
The officer forced his way into the portable bathroom with her, ElBayadi alleges.
“I remember him making a comment about him being an officer and me being drunk and underage, then he forcible bent me over the port-a-potty and raped me,” she said.
Afterward, he promised to ignore that she was illegally drinking alcohol, according to ElBayadi.
He also gave her a card with information about a boarding house if she needed a place to stay, she recalled.
She never reported the purported assault to authorities until reading about Thompson’s criminal case in the Daily News.
“My motivations were not for financial gain or to try for my 15 minutes of fame,” she said. “I want to stitch my story next to theirs because very little has changed in this patriarchal society.”
Syracuse prosecutors interviewed her and believe that Thompson may have been working security at that concert. The mother of three continues to struggle with what happened.
“He said it was okay afterwards and that I wouldn’t be in trouble,” she remembered. “But I was still in trouble and it wasn’t okay for a long time.”
“I want answers,” she added. “I want faith in my community. I want to the other victims to feel as though they live in a world where they can come forward without fear.”