Chicago police officer groped handcuffed woman inside police station: prosecutors

Stephan Shaw | Chicago police

A Chicago police officer allegedly groped a woman who was handcuffed to a metal bar at a police station last May in the Goose Island neighborhood.

Stephan Shaw, 32, was charged with two felony counts of custodial sexual misconduct and one felony count of official misconduct/forbidden after an investigation into an incident that happened on May 22, 2023.

Shaw was one of the arresting officers who took a woman into custody on suspicion of retail theft. The woman was taken to the 18th District police station at 1160 N. Larrabee St.

The woman was put in a small holding cell where her left hand was cuffed to a metal bar on the wall while she sat on a stool in front of a table, according to the Cook County State's Attorney's Office. Shaw stood in the doorway of her holding cell and "asked a series of sexually suggestive questions and made sexually suggestive comments" about the victim, according to court documents.

Shaw allegedly asked if he could touch the victim's buttocks before starting to fondle her over her clothing, prosecutors said. He then asked the victim about going out with him for pizza and groped her underneath her shorts. Shaw also allegedly took the victim's handcuffed hand and placed it on his pelvic region several times outside his clothes, according to Cook County prosecutors.

While the victim was still in custody, Shaw looked her up on Facebook on his phone.

After she was released, the victim messaged Shaw on Facebook and asked him for information about her next court date because she could not find her bond paperwork, prosecutors said. Shaw asked her again if they were going out for pizza and the victim responded with a heart emoji, according to court documents.

The victim told her mother what happened on the night of the incident and reported it to Chicago police the next morning.

Video surveillance cameras at the 18th District police station showed Shaw standing for long periods of time in the doorway of the victim's holding cell. Additional footage shows Shaw entering the holding cell where he stayed for periods of time, outside of view of the cameras.

The victim provided police with screenshots of their Facebook conversation.

Shaw has been relieved of his police powers. He was released after his pretrial detention hearing and is scheduled to return to court on April 24.

Each count Shaw was charged with is punishable by probation or two-to-five years in prison.