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A Bay Area woman said she was terrorized by a security guard at a Tampa CVS after being accused of stealing an energy bar, and now she's suing the pharmacy chain for $1 million.
The woman, who we will call Jane Doe to protect her identity, is suing for extortion and false imprisonment because, according to her, she was held against her will and asked for sexual favors by an employee.
The woman said it happened in March while she was shopping at a CVS store on West Hillsborough Avenue. After paying for for makeup and other items, she said she accidently walked out of the store without paying for two Power Bars.
She was stopped by a security officer and accused of shoplifting.
"It was like the Twilight Zone," Jane explained.
"I wanted to make this right.. 'I'll pay for them. I'm so sorry,'" Jane said she told the security officer.
The security officer, Joey, told Jane he was a real police officer and took her to a back office.
Jane said he threatened to arrest her and put her in jail, but his questions took a strange turn.
"We went from... was I married... to..has my husband ever raped me? I knew we were in a whole new ball game at that point," explained Jane.
She said Joey started offering her freedom in exchange for sexual favors.
"If I was to leave, what would I do later? Would I go on a date with him? Would I be willing to give him oral sex?," Jane said.
The extortion for sexual favors went on for two hours, Jane said, and she felt trapped. She went into what she called survival mode and played along.
Jane asked Joey to use the restroom. She immediately texted her mom.
The message said, "I'm being arrested... he's saying, if I give him h**d, he won't have me arrested... I'm scared mom!"
"This is how serious it was. I'm pleading for my mom [to] help me," she said.
Eventually, a real sheriff's deputy arrived after being called by the store, but CVS decided not to press charges.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office confirmed its deputies investigated the incident and said, "we believe those allegations are unsubstantiated."
Jane said she will see them in court.
"I'm making an example of them. This is absolutely not alright. This is something that is unheard of... It's jaw-dropping," Jane said.
She is suing CVS for false imprisonment and emotional distress, asking for $1 million.
"It was terrifying. I think, for the first two weeks I didn't sleep at all," said Jane.
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