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Thursday, December 7, 2023
Courthouse News Service
Thursday, December 7, 2023 | Back issues
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Bizarre Harassment|Claim At College

RALEIGH, N.C. (CN) - A Johnston Community College instructor claims the college president agreed that she had been sexually harassed by her supervisor, but told her to "destroy all of the evidence" and "never speak of this again." She says a Web cam caught another college employee "masturbating and performing other lewd acts in her desk chair," and "placing an unwrapped stick of gum against his penis and then re-wrapping the gum and placing it on Plaintiff's desk."

The director of the college's computer training center sued the college, its President Donald Reichard, her former supervisor Donald H. Johnson, and a former maintenance supervisor, George Howard Jones, whom she allegedly caught on the Web cam.

She claims the president ordered her to destroy evidence against Johnson after she had complained repeatedly for years about his overt sexual harassment.

She claims that the day after she discovered the bizarre photos on her Web cam, the college allowed Jones to resign.

She claims that "Upon her return to work, Plaintiff wrote several statements to the college administration expressing her beliefs that the Jones' incident was facilitated by the college administration's poor responses to complaints of sexual harassment and its tolerance for an environment that degrades women by talk of sex. Plaintiff's supervisor instructed her to alter her statements before he would accept them."

The complaint continues: "After resigning his position, Jones continued to come to the Johnston Community College campus where Plaintiff worked. Plaintiff again asked that the college take action to keep Jones away from campus and was again told that the college could do nothing to prevent Jones' presence on campus, except to request that he not come on to the campus and that, if he came to campus, to voluntarily alert the human resource administrator of his presence.

"During the time that Johnson was sexually harassing the Plaintiff, she experienced anxiety, nervousness and depression at her workplace. After her 2005 complaint, Plaintiff was still tense at work whenever she had to be in Johnson's presence. After the 2007 incident with Jones, Plaintiff experienced severe mental and emotional distress, to include anxiety, panic, insomnia, among other symptoms. The 2007 incident brought back images and feelings associated with Johnson's harassment of Plaintiff. When Plaintiff's supervisors informed her that there was nothing they would do to protect her from Jones at her work place, after he had resigned his position, Plaintiff again experienced severe emotional distress, most recently in the Fall 2008, after learning that Jones had made unfettered excursions onto the college campus. Plaintiff's physician advised that she remain away from the college campus until her feeling of safety could be returned. Plaintiff's employer refused Plaintiff's request for an accommodation based upon her physician's advice and ordered her to return to the main campus."

She seeks damages for sex discrimination, constitutional violations, and assault and battery, the last charge only against Jones. She is represented in Federal Court by Mary Ann Leon of Greenville, N.C.

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