Court docs: DC cop accused of anal probe of man denies touching his private parts

The American Civil Liberties Union of D.C. has filed a lawsuit against DC Police officer Sean Lojacono, left, after he conducted an invasive anal probe of M.B. Cottinghman during a stop and frisk on September 27, 2017 in Southwest D.C. (Photo courtesy of the American Civil Liberties Union of D.C.)

A Metropolitan Police officer accused of an anal probe of a man during a stop and frisk incident in 2017 has denied touching the victim's private parts.

Officer Sean Lojacono admits to handcuffing and ordering M.B. Cottingham to spread his legs but says he didn't touch his private area, according to court documents.

An attorney for Lojocano says he denies "all allegations of wrongdoing."

“Even though video made public not long after the incident shows pretty clearly that he does these things," countered Scott Michelman with the ACLU of the District of Columbia Tuesday.

In July the American Civil Liberties Union filed a federal lawsuit against Lojacono calling the search of Cottingham "illegal and invasive."


The lawsuit states that Cottingham and several friends were sitting on folding chairs near the intersection of Atlantic and First Streets, SW, on the evening of September 27.

The group opened a bottle of alcohol, in celebration of Cottingham’s birthday, when two cruisers, one marked and one unmarked, pulled up.

According to the lawsuit, several officers, including Lojacono, “got out of their cars and asked the men if they had any guns. They responded they did not.”

The complaint said after Lojacono asked Cottingham what was in his sock, the 39-year-old pulled out a bag containing “less than an eighth of an ounce of marijuana,” a legal amount in the District, according to the ACLU.

On the video, Lojacono can be seen starting to frisk Cottingham.

“I’m sorry man, I didn’t do a thing,” he said.

Another voice said, “You got nothing on him.”

Cottingham said what happened next was frightening and humiliating.

ABC7 News asked him about the incident after a reporter read through the lawsuit.

“It says the officer grabbed your genitals, that he jammed his fingers between your buttocks. Is that what happened?” Cottingham was asked.

“That’s exactly what happened,” he answered quietly.

But that was only the start, Cottingham said.

He can be heard on the video telling Lojacono, “Don’t do that!”

The lawsuit claimed the officer handcuffed Cottingham with his hands behind his back, and did two more cavity searches.

“I’m scared, that’s what’s running through my mind. I’m thinking about my kids, thinking about my own safety,” Cottingham recalled. “What’s coming out of this situation? I want him to stop, but I can’t physically get him off me.”

The lawsuit said Lojacono eventually removed the handcuffs, after failing to find any weapons or contraband.

The complaint also stated that police didn’t cite anyone for the open container of alcohol.

According to the lawsuit, at a June 12 DC Council Hearing, Police Chief Peter Newsham “acknowledged he had seen a video of the encounter.”

The suit quoted the chief as stating, “It looked like it was an inappropriate touching by the officer.”

The narrative also said Newsham stated that Officer Lojacono had been disciplined, but was still on active duty with MPD.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off