Counselor Says Camp Tried to Cover Up Rape

     (CN) – A former counselor at a North Carolina co-ed summer camp for children claims in court that she after she was raped by a co-worker, the program sought to cover the matter up, and when she resisted these efforts, it fired her.
     Andrea Rider was hired to work at the Green River Preserve in Henderson County, N.C. for the 2014 summer camp season.
     In a complaint filed on July 27, she says that almost from her very first day on the job, a co-worker named Matthew Lund expressed a sexual interest in her.
     “Rider told him she was not interested in him and specifically told him she did not want to have sex with him,” the complaint says. “Lund, however, persisted. Every time Rider was alone with Lund he would engage in some type of sexually harassing conduct including unwanted physical touching.”
     Among others things, Rider says, Lund put his hands inside her pants, rubbed his penis against her backside, and straddled her while she was laying in her stomach, lifting her shirt and rubbing her back.
     “On at least three occasions he grabbed her face and kissed her on the mouth,” the complaint says.
     Rider says she complaint to three different senior staff members of the camp, who allegedly told her simply to avoid him.
     “Lund’s sexually harassing conduct continued after her complaints and culminated on June 27, 2014,” the complaint says. “That evening, Lund sexually assaulted and forcefully raped Rider against her will on two different occasions. The sexual assaults and rapes occurred on Green River property, specifically the boys’ showers and the cabin where Lund was residing.”
     Rider says she reported the rapes the next day, and Lund was summarily fired, but also allowed to simply return to his home in Alabama with all of his personal belongings, “which contained evidence of the sexual assault and rapes.”
     “Green River,” she says, “did not make any effort to preserve or retain this evidence.”
     Instead, the complaint says, “Green River … cleaned and sanitized the cabin and showers where the sexual assaults and rapes occurred … [and] … did not contact the authorities to report the sexual assaults and rapes.”
     Rider says senior staff members drove her to the hospital, but identified her as a “student from Hendersonville” in order to conceal Green River’s involvement in the alleged sexual assaults and rapes.
     Rider says that throughout her stay in the hospital, Green River staffers were most concerned with negative publicity that might arise from the incident and one of them stayed in her room while she was being interviewed by police.
     Despite the incident, Rider says she fully intended to return to work at the camp.
     However, on July 4 ,2014, she says, the camp contacted her and told her she could only return if she agreed to sign a confidentiality agreement promising not to talk about Lund or what happened to her.
     Rider says she declined to sign the document. A few days later, the complaint says, the camp again contacted her and told her she didn’t have to sign the agreement, but that if she came back to work and talked about Lund or the rapes, she would be fired.
     Finally, Rider says, the camp said she could return to work or sign a separation agreement that contained a full release of Green River from any claims related to the rapes, and also included confidentiality, non-disparagement and other legally binding provisions.
     “Rider contacted Green River within 24 hours by leaving a voicemail … telling it that she needed time to consult with legal counsel regarding the separation agreement before making a decision … Late in the event of July 17, Rider learned by email that Green River had terminated her employment that day,” the complaint says.
     Rider seeks reinstatement to her job or, in lieu of that, lost pay and benefits, front pay and benefits, and compensatory damages on claims of sexual harassment Title VII Retaliation, obstruction of justice.
     She is represented by Robert Carpenter of Asheville, N.C.
     Representatives of the Green River Preserve could not immediately be reached for comment.

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