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Harassed Cop Wins|$7.5 Million Jury Award

ST. LOUIS (CN) - A former police officer who claimed she was sexually harassed by her supervisor was awarded $7.5 million by a city jury.

Tanisha Ross-Paige claimed her supervisor, Sgt. Steven Gori, created a mock "wanted" poster with her picture and comments about parts of her body.

The poster stated: "Subject wanted for having the baddest body in the St. Louis area," and "Use extreme caution when approaching this subject. Approach this subject from behind for your own safety," according to the lawsuit filed in December 2011.

Ross-Paige claimed Gori also asked her to sit on his lap and invited her to skinny dip in his hot tub.

After complaining about the harassment, Ross-Paige said, she was assigned unfavorable shifts, evaluated differently during performance reviews and was denied time off for training.

Gori denied making the flier and fellow officers rebutted other claims, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

Jurors awarded Ross-Paige $300,000 in compensatory damages and $7.2 in punitive damages for retaliation.

Ryan Paulus, one of Ross-Paige's attorneys, told the Post-Dispatch that the verdict may be the highest ever awarded in Missouri for this type of case. Though he believed the award may be reduced under the law to roughly $3 million, the legal maximum could grow if the police board appeals.


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