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Miami Commission Settles Rape Suit

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami City Commissioners have decided to settle a suit brought by a South Beach waitress who was raped by a Miami police officer four years ago.

On Thursday, the commissioners agreed to pay the woman $550,000..

The woman, who was sexually assaulted by officer Michael Ragusa in March 2007, claimed the city failed to notice ‘red flags’ when it hired him in 2004, according to CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald.

According to the woman’s federal lawsuit, on his application Ragusa stated he paid for sex from prostitutes and strippers, stole cash from restaurants he had worked at in the past and had a fiery temper. The former boxer and weightlifter was turned down for employment by six other police agencies before he was hired by Miami, according to the suit.

“Despite the obvious red flags concerning his qualifications to be a police officer, [the department] engaged in only the most cursory scrutiny of his background and employment history,” the Miami Herald quoted from the woman’s suit.

Ragusa was arrested in 2007 and sentenced to 10 years in prison the following year after he pleaded guilty to sexual assaults on three women. After he’s released, he’ll serve 10 years probation and have to register with the state as a “sexual predator.”

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald contributed to this report.)

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