A shocking case out of Martinez, near San Francisco, revealed a district attorney's office prosecution unit that was rife with sexual harassment, court documents revealed.
The Los Angeles Times reports that after a prosecutor was charged with raping a co-worker with whom he had a sexual relationship -- charges were later dropped. Officials discovered that the attorneys would discuss at length their sexual histories and preferences at work and after work. Some also said that prosecuting sex crimes gave them ideas for what they could do in bed.
This case is disturbing on several levels. For one, that attorneys, called to prosecute crimes that can cause lifelong trauma to a victim and can include life in prison for a defendant, would consider these crimes fodder for their own sexual deviance is appalling. But second to that, this shows that this office had a culture of sexual harassment in the workplace that likely violated every policy and law in the book.
Los Angeles sexual harassment lawyers have seen offices where a culture exists that allows people to violate sexual harassment laws without consequence. This can only stop if someone steps up and puts an end to it.
The article goes on to state that the sex crimes prosecutor was on his way to work when a police officer handcuffed him and told him he had been indicted on a charge of suspicion of rape. Another prosecutor in the office called police and said she had been raped during their lunch hour as the 54-year-old was awaiting a jury verdict in a molestation case he was responsible for trying.
She said she wanted to have sex with him, but not the "kinky" sex -- with ice cubes, an ice pick, handcuffs and a gun -- that she classified as a brutal rape. She testified to the grand jury, which indicted the man. They had had sex before and he told police the sex was rough but consensual.
After three years, a judge dismissed the charges because the grand jury didn't hear evidence that may have undermined the credibility of the alleged victim, the Times reports.
But the case blew open a secret culture inside the district attorney's office, which workers referred to as a "sex club" where co-workers had co-ed "slumber parties" and photographed themselves in sexually provocative poses. They would use sexual jargon in the office, discuss their sexual activities at lunch and some said they enjoyed their work because it gave them ideas for the bedroom.
Court documents suggest that the victim, who scored poorly on job performance evaluations and wasn't offered a full-time job, had motivation to lie. Her bosses allowed the two to work together for four months before charges were filed, suggesting they didn't trust her account.
Office members are now getting training about what constitutes sexual harassment, which obviously was not made a priority before now. The attorney general's office, who handled the case because of a potential conflict of interest within the district attorney's office, hasn't decided whether to appeal the ruling or re-file charges. The alleged victim has since moved to Florida.
If you or someone you love has been the victim of sexual harassment in Orange County or in any of the surrounding areas, it is critical for you to contact an Orange County Sexual Harassment attorney. Contact the California Legal Team at (800) 285-1763 to discuss your rights.
More Blog Entries:
Employees Urged to Address Sexual harassment Risks in Los Angeles: October 18, 2011
L.A. Times Magazine Former Publisher Sues for Sexual Harassment: October 11, 2011
Date rape case exposes sexual activities in a Bay Area D.A.'s unit, by Maura Dolan, Los Angeles Times