Chaperone for stripper settles suit with officers

A stripper’s chaperone has settled a federal lawsuit against four off-duty Brookline police officers who he said assaulted him at a bachelor party in 2010.

Under terms of the settlement, the police officers agreed to pay Robert Sonia of Lynn an undisclosed amount, said attorneys for both sides Tuesday.

Sonia filed the suit in US District Court in April 2011, saying the four police officers assaulted him before conspiring to concoct a story that would lead to his arrest.


“He’s happy to have it resolved,” said attorney Michael Tumposky, who with John Saliba represented Sonia in the case. “It was a long process for him, and he’s happy to put this part of his life behind him.”

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Sonia’s suit stemmed from events on March 28, 2010, when the officers — Daniel ­Avila, Brendan Kelliher, David Hill, and Yu Kajita — called Shamrock Entertainment in Lynn to request a stripper, ­Sonia said. Sonia accompanied the woman, Theresa Soundis, to a Beacon Street apartment in Brookline at about 4:30 a.m., but the officers said the bachelor had left the party.

Sonia said that after he and Soundis left the apartment and were attempting to drive away from the 1700 block of Beacon Street, the officers attacked him, leaving him with a broken eye socket and broken ribs. The officers said that Sonia had struck Hill first.

The Brookline Police ­Department initially placed the four officers on paid administrative leave and charged Avila and Kelliher with assault. Sonia was charged with assault and battery and threatening to commit a crime, and Soundis was charged with operating to endanger. All of the charges were dropped in June 2010.

Sonia then filed the federal suit against the officers and the Town of Brookline, saying the town failed to train the officers properly and take disciplinary action against them after they used excessive force. US District Court Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton dismissed the claim against the town in September of 2012, saying Sonia’s injury was not caused by a municipal policy, custom, or failure to train the officers properly.


Kenneth Anderson, the ­attorney representing the ­officers, said that each of the ­officers paid a nominal amount to settle the lawsuit. He ­declined to say how much the officers agreed to pay.

“It wasn’t for a lot of money,” Anderson said.

Brock Parker can be reached at