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Tuesday, July 16, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Cops Lambast Force’s Anti-Gay Harassment

AUBURN, Calif. (CN) - A Roseville Police sergeant claims that after he reported anti-gay harassment in the force, superiors in the Police Department retaliated by harassing him for supposedly being gay.

Sgt. Darin DeFreece says he reported the harassment of other officers, as is required. He claims that upper management retaliated by spreading rumors that he is gay.

DeFreece and two other officers say the department is rife with anti-gay harassment, and officers thought to be gay are routinely denied advancement because of their sexual orientation.

DeFreece and Officers Michael Lackl and Kenneth Marler sued the city, its Police Department and officials, including the city manager and police chief, in Placer County Court.

DeFreece says he and others particularly took offense when a police captain changed a security gate code to "13-69" and told everyone it stood for "unlucky cocksucker." This is the complaint DeFreece says he brought to Human Resources.

He claims Police Chief Michael Blair did nothing about the complaint but reprimanded him for bringing it up.

The officers seek damages for harassment, failure to prevent harassment, retaliation, intentional infliction of emotional distress and public disclosure of private facts. They seek punitive damages and attorney's fees.

They are represented by Joy Rosenquist with Goyette and Associates of Gold River.

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