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Revenge porn allegations prompt lawsuit against Valpo police
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Revenge porn allegations prompt lawsuit against Valpo police

Valparaiso police station stock

Valparaiso police station

VALPARAISO — A Virginia woman is suing the Valparaiso Police Department after being charged and then cleared of violating Indiana's revenge porn law.

Kathy Browne is suing the city of Valparaiso, a Valparaiso police sergeant, a Valparaiso woman and her attorney over allegations of conspiracy, slander, defamation, false arrest, malicious prosecution causing emotional distress and violation of constitutional rights.

An attorney for Browne filed the suit Wednesday in U.S. District Court, Hammond. 

Valpo cops told lawsuit could be coming over dropped revenge porn case

The suit alleges Jennifer Waldo, of Valparaiso, began harassing Browne, a published author living near Richmond, Virginia, in 2017.

It alleges Waldo falsely complained last year to Valparaiso police that Browne had violated Indiana’s revenge pornography law by distributing intimate and embarrassing photos of Waldo.

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The Porter County prosecutor’s office charged Browne with a misdemeanor last September following an investigation by Valparaiso police Sgt. Stephen Kobitz.

Anna Hearn, an attorney for Waldo, obtained a Porter Superior Court protective order against Browne the same month aimed at stopping any adverse contact between Waldo and Browne.

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The prosecutor’s office dropped the criminal charge against Browne in January, saying it was unable to prove the charge against Browne beyond a reasonable doubt.

A judge also dismissed the protective order against Browne in January.

Revenge porn case dropped involving Valpo woman; fallout continues

The suit alleges Waldo, Kobitz and Hearn conspired to falsely accuse Browne because of their common animosity against Browne.

It alleges the city of Valparaiso’s policies and practices resulted in its false arrest of Browne.

Attorneys for the defendants couldn’t be reached Wednesday for comment. As of Wednesday afternoon, no federal trial had been scheduled to resolve the lawsuit.

Gallery: Recent arrests booked into Porter County Jail

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