LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Donovan Stewart has been silent since protesters accused him of beating an autistic teenager during a disturbance at Fayette Mall. Today that silence ended as Stewart filed a lawsuit to try to clear his reputation.
On Thursday, Stewart announced his retirement during the same ceremony that he announced the lawsuit.
"It's been hard the past number of months and I have a lot of pain and hurt inside my heart," Stewart said.
Stewart has been under fire since a February 2019 incident at Fayette Mall that was caught on video. Many people accused him of assaulting an autistic teenager during a disorder. However, Scott Crosbie, Stewart's attorney, claims the former chaplain, who was never charged with misconduct, was defending himself after the teen punched Stewart first.
Now, Stewart is suing protesters Sarah Williams and April Taylor plus ten more unnamed people for defamation. Stewart and Crosbie are saying the sisters have viciously attacked Stewart and his family and spreading blatant lies by calling him a racist and much more.
"Those who published the dehumanizing, degrading, outrageous and vile statement, they'll get their due process," Crosbie said.
Sarah Williams stands by her claims.
"Did we release the truth? Yes," Williams said. "Do I stand by that truth with every breath in my body and all the breath of my six children? Yes I do."
Stewart, who is a pastor at a church in Lexington defends his fellow officers.
"Lexington Police Department is a noble agency, a courageous agency full of men and women from a variety of backgrounds that have the desire to protect and serve this community," Stewart said.