Jefferson County Deputy sues claiming she was exploited in topless photos


Jefferson County sheriff's deputy has filed a $50 million lawsuit against the sheriff's department over topless photos that were taken of her and alleged harassment that followed.

According to the lawsuit filed in State Supreme Court, Deputy Krystal Rice claims she was "exploited" by detective Steven Cote when he allegedly took topless photos of her for supposed use in investigations to trap online pedophiles.

According to the suit, the photo session was authorized by the sheriff's department. Deputy Rice also claims she signed a contract that would ensure her the photos would only be used for police investigations and that she could retreive them at anytime.

The photos were taken in 2006 at a secluded location near the Black River Bay fishing access area. In the lawsuit, Deputy Rice claims when she tried to retreive the photos in 2009 that were stored on a floppy disk, she was subjected to harassment by detective Cote. She also claims Cote's superiors, and other coworkers, subjected her to harassment because of her complaint.

The lawsuit claims she was not able to determine whether the disk or the contract still exists.

Rice's attorney, Charu Narang told CNY Central's Jim Kenyon, "It is outrageous that in 2012, we as women and individuals are witnessing this kind of conduct." When asked how Deputy Rice could have been convinced to pose for the photos, Narang replied, "she's a bright eyed girl and she's innocent and naive... She's a small town girl and believed what he was requesting her to do was necessary for the investigation."

Jefferson County Sheriff John Burns could not be reached for comment Wednesday, but Undersheriff Andrew Neff said, "it's an unfortunate incident,and it will have to be dealt with."

CNYcentral's Jim Kenyon was told detective Steven Cote was "not working" because of unrelated reasons. Lt. Michael Peterson could also not be reached for comment. We're told he is on vacation.

Read the court filing.