Three detectives have filed a sexual harassment claim against the King County Sheriff’s Department in Washington, according to the Seattle Times. The plaintiffs, three detectives from the Sexual Assault Unit, allege they were subjected to continuous sexual harassment and verbal abuse over several years. Detectives Marylisa Priebe-Olson, Janette Luitgaarden and Belinda Ferguson have filed approximately $9 million in claims against King County.
“As sheriff, it is my clear expectation that we have a respectful workplace, free of discrimination or harassment,” said King County Sheriff Steve Stachan. “And on this particular claim, I cannot comment on possible potential litigation.”
Julie Kays, one of the attorneys representing the women, claims that the harassment built up through years of sexually charged comments, and it eventually became too much and the women decided to take action.
“These are tough women,” said Kays. “They stare down sex offenders every day. They deal with some of the most difficult and challenging cases in the county. What kind of message does that send to sexual assault victims in the county, when you’ve got a dirty little secret going on in the sexual assault unit?”
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Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob—Los Angeles sexual harassment attorneys.