A Lewis County woman has formally sued a Centralia Police Department sergeant and his supervisors, along with a Lewis County Sheriff’s Office detective and his supervisors, for damages after she allegedly suffered physical and emotional injuries from an abusive relationship with the sergeant.
The defendants were initially notified of the pending litigation on May 24. Under Washington state law, the parties had 60 days from that initial notification to resolve the case before a lawsuit could be filed.
A tort complaint, a civil claim where a plaintiff allegedly suffered damages due to wrongful behavior, was filed in Lewis County Superior Court on Oct. 21.
The claimant, Erin McPeak, has accused Sgt. Corey Butcher of the Centralia Police Department of sexually and emotionally abusing her from June 2019 to October 2020. Additionally, she accuses Special Services Bureau Chief Kevin Engelbertson of the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office, Sheriff Rob Snaza, Centralia Police Chief Stacy Denham, the City of Centralia and Lewis County of negligence for allegedly failing to properly investigate and take action against Butcher after McPeak reported the abuse to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office in November 2020.
Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer previously confirmed that the sheriff’s office did send the results of their investigation to the prosecutor’s office for review, but the prosecutor’s office did not find probable cause within the investigation material to file criminal charges against Butcher.
McPeak is suing for medical and counseling expenses, loss of earnings to date and loss of future earning capacity, court costs, and whatever other relief the court deems appropriate.
A specific dollar amount will be provided at the time of trial, according to court documents.
McPeak is also seeking a court judgement ordering the defendants to change their policies for handling domestic violence complaints against police officers.
McPeak's attorney has notified all parties that the claim has been filed. A hearing has not yet been scheduled.