Sexual harassment can happen in any workplace. Unfortunately, many people who rise to power at work believe that such power gives them the right to do whatever they want with impunity. Sexual predators who abuse their position of power often believe that they are entitled to take whatever they want, that their victims would not dare come forward to report them, and/or no one would believe a subordinate’s report over a person in such of position of respect and power.
Sexual harassment by any person of authority in the workplace is horrific – a boss, manager, supervisor, or the owner of the company. In my opinion, the worst abuse of power is when judges engage in sexual harassment. Judges are supposed to be a symbol for justice. They represent the entire system. When judges engage in sexual harassment, they not only horribly damage the victims, but they tarnish the entire judicial system, which makes it harder for other victims to come forward.
Now former Asotin County Superior Court (Washington State) Judge Scott D. Gallina, who denied the accusations for years, recently pleaded guilty to multiple counts assault with sexual motivation and will be sentenced to between 13 to 27 months in prison – hopefully in gen pop.
According to multiple reports by his courthouse staff, Gallina used his position to sexually harass, assault, and rape personnel while working as judge.
Nine different women eventually came forward to report the sexual misconduct.
Based on the available report of one victim, about one month after becoming a judge, Gallina started by making inappropriate comments. One woman reported that after Gallina called her into his judicial chambers, he regularly talked about her breasts. Then Judge Gallina progressed inappropriate comments to repeatedly hugging and rubbing the victim’s shoulders without permission nor consent. Feeling even more emboldened, then Judge Gallina removed one victim’s clothing and proceeded to grope her breasts. Court documents describe that Gallina later demanded that the same victim lift up her shirt up for him and then ripped her blouse when she refused. On other occasions, he kissed her without consent, demanded that she strip naked, and even bit her to the point of breaking skin. Unfortunately, unchecked, the conduct got worse. According to reports, Gallina physically pushed the same woman from behind in order to forcibly bend her over a desk so that he could grind his penis into her buttocks. Former Judge Gallina became even more brazen. During a break during a trial, Gallina called this victim to his chambers, where he choked her and forcibly inserted his finger into her vagina.
This is the account of one victim. Eight other victims reported similar conduct against them. The women later reported to creating a buddy system so that no woman was alone with Gallina.
There are lessons to be learned here. First, no job is worth being sexually harassed or raped. Second, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it unlawful for employers to retaliate against employees who report sexual harassment. Third, sexual predators will only get bolder and engage in worse conduct if the victims remain silent. Forth, sexual harassment, left unchecked, will often spread to effect other women – meaning that reporting the conduct is not just to protect you. And, most importantly, no matter the position of power, sexual harassers will be held accountable for their actions.
Also know that you do not have to face sexual harassers alone. If you are being sexually harassed by a manager, boss or even a judge, do not wait to call the right attorney to schedule a free and confidential consultation. At Spitz, The Employee’s Law Firm, you will meet with a sexual harassment lawyer/hostile work environment attorney to find out what your legal rights are and the best way to protect them. There is absolutely no risk to getting help. (Read: What is the Spitz No Fee Guarantee?)
Sexual harrassment is a form of gender discrimination, and employers should be held accountable if they discriminate against female workers in any fashion – but particularly for sexual harrassment. It does not matter if you have been wrongfully fired or are still employed, there is no reason to wait to find out what your legal rights are and how to protect yourself from sexual harassment and gender discrimination. Call our top attorneys in Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati and Toledo.
The materials available at the top of this page and at this gender discrimination, wrongful termination, and sex harassment law website are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. If you are still asking “how do is stop sexual harassment at work?”, “what should I do if my manager rapes me?”, “my supervisor groped my boobs”, “my boss keeps gabbing my vagina,” “Can I be fired for reporting sex harassment or is that a wrongful termination?,” or “who is the top sexual harassment lawyers near me”, your best course is to contact an Ohio sexual harassment attorney/hostile work environment lawyer to obtain advice with respect to sexual harassment/hostile work environment questions or any particular employment law issue. Use and access to this employment law website or any of the links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship. The legal opinions expressed at the top of this page or through this employment law website are the opinions of the individual lawyer and may not reflect the opinions of The Spitz Law Firm, Brian Spitz, or any individual attorney.