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Suspect in Tampa rape sues accuser

TAMPA — A man police say posed as a cop and raped a woman he pulled over on Bayshore Boulevard has sued the woman who accused him of the crime.

From jail, Luis Munuzuri Harris, 31, neatly penned a complaint that says he's seeking damages in excess of $25,000 because the 28-year-old Tampa woman knowingly lied and caused "irreparable harm to the petitioner's character and personal and professional reputation."

He wrote that she slandered him in an effort to not get in trouble for coming home late and not going to work the evening of July 30. These statements reflect what Harris told a St. Petersburg Times reporter in an August interview.

Police say that's not true.

In August, Detective Lila Davis said she has heard a lot of Harris' explanations but they are in conflict with the evidence.

When he was arrested, he told police he had never met the woman, his arrest affidavit states. Later, he said they had consensual sex.

In his civil complaint, Harris names the alleged victim. It's the first time her name has appeared in a public record in connection with the Bayshore incident.

Police are bound by Florida law to not divulge the names of victims of sexual assault, and it's the Times' policy also to withhold them, unless the victim asks to be named.

The Clerk of Court's Office was unable to clarify if it is required by law to redact the names of rape victims in civil files.

The names often are redacted in criminal cases, where attorneys usually make note that the file includes such information. But Clerk of Court Pat Frank said it would be "almost impossible" to catch the names of rape victims in every civil filing.

In the first nine months of this year, the office received about 18,000 civil complaints, said office spokeswoman Linda Goldstein.

Harris also filed lawsuits against the man and woman police say he attacked in a bar parking lot the day after the rape.

He wrote that Dennis Zuilkowski and Shana Olson slandered him after Zuilkowski and Harris got into a "drunken bar dispute over Ms. Olson."

In both lawsuits, he claims that he has suffered financial damages, including lost wages, legal fees and other expenses.

It's unclear where Harris was employed at the time of his arrest or what his legal expenses are. The Public Defender's Office has been representing him.

Jessica Vander Velde can be reached at (813) 226-3433 or jvandervelde@sptimes.com.

Suspect in Tampa rape sues accuser 11/26/10 [Last modified: Friday, November 26, 2010 10:28pm]
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