Attorneys for the victim filed a suit against Travis Harvey, charged in the crime, and Delaware-based NextMedia, the parent company of WXLC, claiming the station should have done a background check on the man they were promoting as a “great guy,” although he was a convicted felon.
On Monday Harvey, 46, of Gurnee pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a 24-year-old Fox Lake woman while the two were on a date in February 2007. He was sentenced to two years probation and 12 months periodic imprisonment.
The suits, which were filed in Lake County Thursday afternoon, seek financial compensation from Harvey and NextMedia.
Attorney Robert Baizer, of Baizer, Kolar & Lewis, in Highland Park, said WXLC should have researched Harvey better before setting up a promotion, where female listeners were encouraged to go on a date with him. What the station didn’t mention was that Harvey was convicted in March 2006 of misdemeanor and felony charges for violating a domestic battery order of protection. He was sentenced to 45 days in that incident.
“What we don’t know, and certainly we’ll find out is how they came upon (Harvey) as the prize,” Baizer said. “Obviously they did not do a criminal background check.”
Harvey’s attorney, Greg Nikitas has said that the station’s morning show was attempting to find a date for Harvey because he was a single father and too busy for the dating scene. He was promoted on the air and on the station’s Web site as being “kind” and a “great guy.”
Harvey and the victim were introduced at a station-sponsored event at Anastasias Restaurant and Sports Lounge in Waukegan on a Tuesday and then went on a date the following Saturday. It was during the second meeting that the assault occurred. According to the suits, Harvey drugged the victim before raping her.
The woman went to police a few days later, and NextMedia representatives were made aware of the incident, but they never offered apologies or condolences to the victim, Baizer said.
Since the attacks the woman has undergone therapy and counseling. The suits against Harvey and Next Media seek in excess of $50,000.
“We’re trying to get her some justice finally,” Baizer said. “NextMedia will also get the justice they deserve.”
NextMedia reprentatives said they have not seen the suit and cannot comment on the case.