Woman files $1M lawsuit against Orlando and former Orlando police officer

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A woman who said she was assaulted by an off-duty Orlando police officer four years ago wants $1 million from the officer and the city of Orlando.

Grainy surveillance video shows an off-duty Orlando police officer walking with a woman in a parking lot near the Firestone Live nightclub in downtown Orlando.

No cameras caught the actual attack. But what happened next is outlined in a lawsuit just filed against former police Officer Brandon Loverde, the city and the nightclub.

The documents say the officer groped Rachelle Cortez, a nursing mother, as she left the club late one night in 2009.

At the time, the club's parking lot was filled with cars. The woman said she was grabbed between two of them.

Loverde later pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct, and his law enforcement credentials were revoked. He can no longer be a law enforcement officer in Florida.

Cortez passed a lie detector test and has now filed her suit in federal court.

In the suit she claims false arrest, excessive force, battery and violation of civil rights.

"Historically, these types of lawsuits against law enforcement officers are not high-yield," said WFTV legal analyst Bill Sheaffer.

But Sheaffer said anything can happen if a jury gets a case like this.

"The police officer has admitted liability, he's admitted wrongdoing. The only question for the jury is, 'What are the damages you're to award in this case?'" said Sheaffer.

In an email to WFTV, an Orlando city spokeswoman said the city hasn't yet been officially served with the suit and the city doesn't comment on pending lawsuits.

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