While incidents of police misconduct that grab headlines often involve beatings, shootings, and other uses of excessive force, it is also common for police officers to engage in improper sexual behavior while on duty. Sometimes this behavior is not limited to one incident. It may also involve a pattern of improper conduct towards one or more victims such as acts of stalking. A Seminole County Sheriff’s Deputy created a disturbance in a government building that shows exactly how some police officers abuse their authority by making unwanted sexual advances. Victims of this kind of harassment can retain a lawyer to file a civil lawsuit against the officer and their department.
Seminole County Deputy Resigns after Sexual Note Scandal
An incident in Seminole County involved a deputy stopping at the local property appraiser’s office. He went there to give a graphic sexual note to a female employee while he was on duty. Records from the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office show that the deputy in question had no legitimate business at the property appraiser building that day. Despite the lack of a legitimate purpose, surveillance showed that he spent at least thirty minutes there and later tried to cover his tracks by stating he was at a different location than his GPS records indicated. The internal affairs report from the Sheriff’s Office showed that victim who received the note reported the incident to her superiors shortly afterwards. She also claimed to not have any kind of friendship or relationship with the deputy other than seeing him in the building. The same internal affairs investigation also showed that the deputy had spent hours on the phone for personal calls instead of working and that he ran illegal license plate checks on the car of the woman who had been given the illicit note. The deputy resigned before the investigation could be completed, likely to prevent further consequences for his actions.
Filing a Sexual Harassment Lawsuit
While this police officer resigned before he could be disciplined by his employer, both the individual officer and the county can be sued for an officer’s actions while on duty.
Sexual harassment claims are generally made under federal law to show that someone in a position of authority made unwanted sexual advances toward a subordinate or demanded sexual favors to retain employment. The superior makes these advances usually tells a victim they must be receptive to avoid further negative consequences. In cases involving the police, they are obviously in a position of authority over the general public, and they have the power to bribe individuals into performing certain actions to avoid arrest. These unwanted advances can interfere with someone’s ability to function normally or perform their job, which also creates additional economic harm. A police department also has a duty to act to stop the harassment. Breaching this duty is strong evidence that they are also liable for the harm caused to the victim.
Get Help form a Lawyer in Seminole County
There are local Seminole County lawyers who who are experts in matters of sexual harassment and police misconduct. A conversation with one of these attorneys is the best way to proceed for victims of unwanted sexual advances from the police. Remember that police officers are held to certain standards of conduct while on duty, and sexual harassment is definitely not within their protocol.