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Lawsuit targets former deputy, sheriff, county

| May 12, 2006 12:00 AM

A Libby woman has filed a civil suit against a former sheriff's deputy, Sheriff Daryl Anderson and Lincoln County, alleging that the deputy made inappropriate advances and engaged her in a prolonged sexual relationship while manipulating her into serving as an informant in drug cases.

Kim Boharski's claims against former deputy Mark Jacobson and his one-time employers include assault, battery, emotional distress and negligence. Her suit was filed last week in district court and followed the filing earlier this year of a related case by Boharski's daughter, Cassandra Hovland, who argued that she was the victim of false imprisonment, malicious prosecution and civil rights violations. Hovland's case has since been moved to federal court in Missoula.

Hovland was arrested in February 2004 following a traffic stop near Libby and charged with felony and misdemeanor drug offenses. The case against her was eventually dismissed after an investigation indicated that arresting officer Chris Gardella had illegally searched her vehicle and falsified his report to justify the charges. Jacobson disclosed to prosecutors in June 2004 that he had known about Gardella's actions but had not said anything until then.

Represented by Bozeman attorney Terry Schaplow, Boharski claims in her suit that Jacobson "repeatedly and falsely promised Kim that if she would 'work with him' and 'be a credible informant' he would ensure Cassandra's release from jail, ensure that the charges against her would be dropped, and that Kim would continue to have visitation with her granddaughter."

While on duty, Jacobson made inappropriate sexual advances on Boharski and "forced her to perform oral sex" in the back seat of his patrol car on more than one occasion, the suit contends. Boharski alleges that Jacobson also tried to get her to break off a romantic relationship with another man and threatened to have the man thrown in jail.

Jacobson "stalked" Boharski and "obsessively tried to control her actions," the suit claims.

"Defendant Jacobson often parked outside Kim's trailer at night and called her on the telephone, requesting her to open the curtains and undress for him while he watched with binoculars," Schaplow wrote on Boharski's behalf. "Although Kim never did so, Defendant Jacobson continued to attempt to persuade her to do so."

Boharski also claims that she was threatened with serious bodily injury and death because of her work as an informant for Jacobson on drug cases.