Woman Says Store Rehired Her Attacker

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (CN) – A man on probation for attempted murder assaulted a co-worker and threatened to rape her, a former sales associate at Cardi’s Furniture claims in Kent Superior Court. The store fired the co-worker, the lawsuit states, only to rehire him after it fired the woman he attacked.

Rebecca Bringhurst says co-worker Lynn Holston assaulted and restrained her in the master bedrooms section of the store, and then “asked her what she would do if he raped her.”
Before he was hired at Cardi’s, Holston pleaded guilty to assault with attempt to commit murder, according to the complaint. He allegedly received 15 years in jail and 15 years of probation.
Bringhurst says Holston was still on probation when he attacked her. She claims “inappropriate behavior” toward female co-workers had been brought to the store’s attention in 2008, before the assault.
Bringhurst says she reported the incident to the police and to her supervisors, and was fired after taking medical leave. She claims Cardi’s refused to give her back her job, but it rehired Holston, who had been fired earlier.
She filed a complaint with the Human Rights Commission, in which she detailed alleged harassment by Cardi’s employees, such as an “obscene and offensive” text message sent by her former supervisor, Scott Maurice.
She says the message “was in retaliation for filing a complaint of harassment against defendant Cardi’s and its employees.”
She has sued the store, Holston, Maurice and other officers, claiming she was a victim of a hostile work environment, retaliation, disparate treatment, assault and battery.
Bringhurst demands lost wages and benefits, plus punitive damages.
Her attorney is Nicholas Gelfuso of Cranston, R.I.

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