Casino Boss Called Sexual Predator

      NEW ORLEANS (CN) – A casino boss repeatedly forced an employee to give him oral sex, making her vomit, under threat of reporting her to immigration, the woman claims in Federal Court.
     Mirna Y. Bertrand sued the Treasure Chest Casino, of Kenner, La. She claims it hired her knowing she did not have immigration documents, and a boss used that to sexually prey upon her. Bertrand is from Honduras.
     The only defendant listed in the heading of the lawsuit is the casino, though two of its “highest ranking supervisors” are named in the body of the complaint.
     At the casino, “Ms. Bertrand was subjected to unwanted and unwelcome sexual discussions, inappropriate sexual touching, and forced to engage in sexual activity with one of the highest ranking supervisors at the Treasure Chest Casino under the threat that failing to submit would cause the supervisor to reveal the secret that he and the highest ranking supervisor knew of Ms. Bertrand’s immigration status and she would lose her job and get in trouble with the government,” the lawsuit states.
     It continues: “On or about January 22, 2009, Ms. Bertrand and her husband met with Heath Schumacher, Security Supervisor of the Treasure Chest Casino, and Captain Darrel Rabalais, Captain of the Treasure Chest Casino, to discuss possible employment at Treasure Chest Casino.
     “Schumacher and Rabalais are two of the highest-ranking management employees at the Treasure Chest Casino.
     “Ms. Bertrand informed Schumacher and Rabalais that her immigration status did not necessarily allow her to work in the United States, to which Rabalais replied, ‘I’m sure you won’t have a problem getting a job here.'”
     Bertrand says she went to work for Treasure Chest Casino on or about Feb. 9, 2009.
     “On or about the last week of April 2009, Schumacher requested that Rabalais have Ms. Bertrand report to his office. Rabalais escorted Ms. Bertrand to Schumacher’s office and left,” the complaint states.
     “In the office, Schumacher began massaging Ms. Bertrand’s shoulders, told her to relax and stated to Ms. Bertrand, ‘Anything you need I am willing to help you, but you will have to be a good girl.'”
     On another occasion when Bertrand was called to Schumacher’s office, “Schumacher told Ms. Bertrand that he and Rabalias were the only ones that knew her status and that if she liked her job and wanted to keep working she would do this and he would keep her status a secret; and, that he would help her keep her job, that everything would be OK and that no one would find out about her status,” according to the complaint.
     “Schumacher then grabbed her hand and forced Ms. Bertrand to touch his penis, then forced her head to his groin to engage in fellatio, at which time Ms. Bertrand vomited. Shortly thereafter, Ms. Schumacher ejaculated into the nearby garbage can.”
     On another instance, the complaint states: “Schumacher trapped Ms. Bertrand in his office and forced Ms. Bertrand to touch him and engage in fellatio; again, Ms. Bertrand vomited during the act.”
     Another time, Schumacher called Bertrand to his office, “then told Ms. Bertrand that if she and her husband ever split up he would support her by helping with rent, telephone etc., and that she ‘excited him,’ at which time he undressed.
     “Schumacher again touched Ms. Bertrand inappropriately, attempted to have Ms. Bertrand perform fellatio (to which she again vomited), and masturbated while groping Ms. Bertrand,” the complaint states. (Parentheses in complaint.)
     Another time, the lawsuit states: “Schumacher closed his office door and told Ms. Bertrand … that he knew her status and would keep that a secret and that everything would be OK; he proceeded to attempt to have Ms. Bertrand perform fellatio, but again, Ms. Bertrand began to heave and vomit. Schumacher then reached under Ms. Bertrand’s blouse and grabbed her breast while masturbating.
     “Ms. Bertrand reacted to the forcefulness of the situation by slapping Schumacher in the side of the head, causing, according to Schumacher, to make his ear ‘ring.’
     “About six hours later, Schumacher found Ms. Bertrand and stated that Human Resources had instructed him to terminate her. He then escorted her to the Security Supervisor’s Office to conduct the termination on a video and audio recording.
     “Treasure Chest Casino admitted in Ledet v. Treasure Chest Casino, Civ. A. No. 2:10-CV-04561 (EDLA, CMECF Record No. 24-1, pp. 23-24), that ‘Schumacher and Ledet made inappropriate comments to Bertrand during the meeting. Those comments included a discussion about Bertrand returning her uniform before she left the property, during which Schumacher insinuated they would like for her to strip for them during the meeting.’
     “Ms. Bertrand reported Schumacher’s sexual advances to Rabalais and discussed with him a ‘what if’ scenario related to a supervisor asking for sexual favors from an employee. Rabalais told Ms. Bertrand that it should not be reported because someone would get in trouble and then walked away from Ms. Bertrand without inquiring further.
     “On another occasion, Ms. Bertrand discussed what had happened between her and Schumacher with co-worker Maria Peters after Ms. Peters told Ms. Bertrand that she had seen another Hispanic housekeeping employee performing oral sex on Rabalais.”
     Bertrand seeks lost wages, costs and punitive damage for pain and suffering, emotional distress, mental anguish, loss of reputation, embarrassment, loss of consortium and humiliation.
     She is represented by Bryce G. Murray of Metairie.

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