PORTLAND, Ore. (CN) – A woman says Lebanon, Ore., Municipal Judge Larry Houchin sexually assaulted her dozens of times over 8 months after she appeared in his court on “various traffic and minor criminal matters.” And she claims Lebanon City Manager John Hitt refused to take heed of complaints from her and other women who accused Houchin of sexually abusing them.
Candace Gutierrez says Hitt and the City of Lebanon ignored Houchin’s history of sexual harassment accusations and hired him anyway, in her complaint in Multnomah County Court.
She claims the city exposed her and other women to danger by allowing Houchin to meet with them in their homes and in other private places.
Gutierrez claims Houchin began sexually molesting her in July 2008 and the assaults “continued for about 8 months. The sexual molestations occurred at various places within or near the City of Lebanon, and plaintiff further alleges that defendant Houchin committed at least 30 separate sexual assaults on at least 30 separate and distinct dates.”
Gutierrez says Judge Houchin “failed to maintain clear professional boundaries between himself and female defendants and probationers, physically touched female defendants and court probationers, worked independently of other municipal employees’ staff members, was in violation of established rules of professional conduct, made personal visits to victim’s homes and met with victims in private locations and in other respects, engaged in inappropriate, unprofessional relationships with female defendants and probationers.”
She demands $5 million in damages. She is represented by Randall Vogt.