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Saturday, April 13, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Women Say Sheriff’s Captain Harassed Them

(CN) - A Georgia sheriff failed to stop one of his captains from sexually harassing five officers despite being informed of the behavior, the women claim in court.

In the complaint in Newnan Federal Court, the five women, who include three deputies, a dispatcher and an administrative assistant, claim Spalding County sheriff's Capt. David Gibson "used his position ... to intimidate, harass, and assault female subordinates ... [and] subjected plaintiffs to repeated unwanted sexual advances, comments and touching."

The women say that when they rejected his advances, " Gibson retaliated by, among other things, threatening their employment and physical safety."

The women say they reported Gibson's alleged behavior to the sheriff, who did nothing to stop it.

If anything, they claim, their attempt to have the sheriff intercede on their behalf inspired Gibson to retaliate against them.

"For example, Gibson would utter various phrases like ... "you need a stiff dick" on countless occasions throughout the last ten years to plaintiffs and other women employees," the complaint says. "Gibson exposed his genitalia to plaintiffs ... Often times this exposure took the form of masturbation in front of the plaintiffs."

Gibson also threatened the women physically and threatened to terminate their careers, the complaint states.

The plaintiffs seek declaratory and injunctive relief as well as compensatory and punitive damages on claims of sexual harassment and retaliation; assault and battery; intentional infliction of emotional distress; and negligent hiring, retention, and supervision.

They are represented by Eleanor Mixon Attwood of Legare, Attwood & Wolfe in Atlanta.

Representatives of the parties could not be reached for comment.

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