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Washington State policewoman files sexual harassment claim

Washington State policewoman files sexual harassment claim

A suburban Seattle police officer has filed a lawsuit claiming she was fondled by a lieutenant and subjected to sexual harassment, then faced retaliation when she complained. Bellevue police officer Heidi Moon, hired in 1998 following work as a Defense Department police officer and as a guard at the state women's prison near Gig Harbor, filed the case Friday in King County superior court. According to a court filing, Moon's field training officer asked whether she was a lesbian shortly after she went to work in Bellevue, sexual jokes were routinely told during briefings, and she was required to perform duties that were not required of male officers. She is seeking unspecified lost wages and punitive damages on claims of post-traumatic stress, emotional distress, and humiliation that forced her to take a leave of absence. She made detective in 2001, the same year she attended her first training session on the police department's sexual harassment policy, according to the lawsuit. After the class, supervisors bought alcohol for those who attended, she claimed, adding that a lieutenant encouraged her to drink and then drove her home because she was intoxicated. "Knowing she was intoxicated, injured, and on medication for her neck injury, he sexually assaulted her," the lawsuit claims. Moon reported the incident to supervisors, but the lieutenant remained on duty in her area, and she was subjected to retaliation, according to the lawsuit. (AP)

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