A police department in New York has come under investigation after a bisexual police officer filed a lawsuit alleging she was continually sexually harassed by other officers.
Greenburgh Police Officer Kristin Stein said that the alleged harassment came to a tipping point in 2019 when she says fellow officer Jeff Cerone of pushing “his genital area into her buttocks, toppling over her and ramming himself into her,” according to a complaint reported by Gay City News.
Stein filed a complaint against several police officers and the town.
Since the investigation into sexual harassment on the force two officers have been suspended, according to local station News 12.
Stein, who joined the department in 2017, told the news outlet she wanted to be a police officer since she was little. However, her dream faded when she says she began being the target of male officers. That includes being sexually harassed by her field training officer.
She has accused her nightshift partner, Jeff Cerone, of sexually assaulting her on duty.
In body camera footage obtained by several media outlets, officers are seen laughing after the alleged assault. In another video, Gay City News reports that officers discuss Stein being physically touched. An officer can be heard saying “I think he has a crush on her.” Another officer in the video says, “He tries to assert his dominance to show that he has the penis in the relationship.”
Cerone was lightly disciplined with a change in shift and a cut in vacation time, the complaint states.
The Greenburgh Police Department told News 12 that it disagreed with parts of the complaint and the interpretation of the video.
“The Town Board and I will never tolerate sexual harassment against members of the LGBTQ community or anyone,” Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner told Gay City News in a statement. “We want our employees to feel comfortable reporting incidents and also want our employees to know that we will take every complaint seriously.”
He added that he knew the Stein family and that having an independent investigation will put people more at ease.
Stein said the department was a boys’ club where people just fall in line. “I’m the only one that stood up, and I’m the one that’s hurt,” she said. Stein added that she believes she was targeted because she's bisexual.
“I truly believe that once the men in the department found out that there was a possibility that I was interested in men, and that I was in a relationship with a female, that everything became a fantasy,” Stein explained. “Everything became almost like pornographic with me.”
Now, Stein, who is on medical leave, is concerned she won’t be hired anywhere else after her complaint.
“I’ve never had one bad reprimand,” Stein said. “I’ve only gotten awards and good community letters. And within five years, my career is ruined because I didn’t want to fall in line with the other guys.”