Did Fullerton Give ‘Tacit Authorization’ to Sexual Harassment?

A federal judge condemned the Fullerton Police Department for allowing a police officer to return to patrol after he was accused of groping women, the Los Angeles Times reported on October 3, 2011. A department spokesman told the Times that Officer Albert Rincon is now on administrative leave, but the case against him began in 2008 when Kari Bode and Gina Nastasi accused Rincon of groping them and exposing their breasts. They sued the department in 2009 and investigations by the city and district attorney’s office revealed similar accusations from a total of seven women, the Times reported.

“At the end of the day, the city put Rincon back onto the streets to continue arresting women despite a pattern of sexual harassment allegations,” U.S. District Judge Andrew Guilford wrote in a strongly worded opinion. “A reasonable juror could conclude based on these facts, that the city simply did not care what officers did to women during arrest.”

The Times reported that the judge said the city’s action “suggests a tacit authorization.” Guilford refused to throw out a lawsuit by two of the women, the city of Fullerton tentatively agreed to settle the case after the ruling, according to the Times.

Do you know what constitutes sexual harassment? If you believe that you have been the victim of quid pro quo sexual harassment or a “hostile working” environment and your employer ignored your complaints about the situation, our Los Angeles employment attorneys may be able to assist you in filing a lawsuit for retaliation. Contact our firm today to set up a confidential consultation.

Law Offices of Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob – Los Angeles employment attorney

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