20-year old student of psychology at the University of Illinois, Jessica Mejia was out celebrating the New Year’s Eve in 2009 with her ex-boyfriend Nicholas Sord when Sord, son of wealthy Chicago developer and restaurateur, suddenly lost control of the SUV and smashed it into a pole. Sord survived; Mejia died on the spot.
What happened next will shock you. A young girl had an unfortunate death and yet she was “treated with less dignity than a deer carcass on roadside”. A lawsuit filed by Jessica’s family in 2010 sued the Cook County Sheriffs deputies in Illinois for snapping creepy photos of Jessica’s naked body, after she was killed in the car accident, to blame her daughter and make her look like the cause of the accident. The lawsuit is filed to restore Jessica’s name and to go after officers who her mother believes should not be on the streets.
By stripping her daughter off her high heels, her jeans, her shirt and her bra and photographing her naked corpse in odd positions, sheriff’s deputies contributed to and fostered an insulting perception. “People already have been left with the inaccurate perception that Mejia “died from having sex, not from somebody being drunk and killing her. Because they took these photos, by the time everybody else got to the scene, all the ambulances and everybody else, she was partially naked because they made her naked. So the rumors, and the allegations… they made it believable,” her mother Christina Mejia complained.
When the lawsuit was first filed, the Sheriff’s Office denied taking naked photos of Mejia at the crime scene. Later, the department admitted but insisted that it took the photographs at the scene as part of ‘standard operating procedure’ in order to gather evidence that ultimately helped to convict Sord.
Cara Smith, a spokeswoman for the sheriff, still maintains that they did everything by the books and “acted appropriately to try and preserve evidence”. What did stripping Jessica’s corpse have to do with “evidence”? They have yet to explain.
The trial began April 27, 2015.
Sord’s blood alcohol content was almost three times the legal limit at the time of the crash. He was initially charged with reckless homicide and drunk driving, but the homicide charge was later dropped. He is currently serving a 56-month prison sentence.
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