Aldridge lawsuit moves to trial

Former police officer accused of civil rights violation
By Damien Fisher | May 06, 2014

CONCORD — The federal civil rights lawsuit against a former Newport police officer and the Newport Police Department continues to head toward a trial, with the final pre-trial hearing set for this week in the United States District Court in Concord.

Thaddeus Nye is suing former Newport Police officer Aaron Aldridge, 48, and the Newport Police Department, claiming Aldridge touched him in a sexual manner during an arrested more than a decade ago.

Nye, a fellow prison inmate of Aldridge, filed a suit against Aldridge and the Newport Police Department earlier this year claiming Aldridge violated his rights when he was working as a police officer. Nye claims that he only recently remembered the incident that brought about the lawsuit, according to the facts laid out by United States District Court Judge Landya McCafferty.

Last week, McCafferty ruled again that Nye was not entitled to an attorney appointed by the court and paid for by the government as he pursues the civil rights case. McCafferty has yet to rule on Nye’s motion for access to the entirety of Aldridge’s personnel file from his time as a police officer.

Both the attorney for the Newport Police Department, and Aldridge, oppose releasing the files to Nye on several grounds, including the fact that Nye’s handwritten request is overly broad.

“Plaintiff essentially seeks to rummage through Defendant Aldridge’s entire personnel file, or any similar documents, without properly tailoring a discovery request to materials which might arguably be relevant to the case,” wrote Corey Belobrow, the police department’s attorney in the case.

Belobrow also states that there is no evidence to suggest that Aldridge has a history of assaulting or harassing prisoners while he worked as a police officer.

“The Newport Police Department is not aware of any other complaints or instances in which a person under arrest, or any other person, alleged that Defendant Aldridge had improperly performed the search for sexual gratification or similar reason,” he wrote.

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Damien Fisher
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