CHICAGO (CN) – A University of Illinois Medical Center housekeeper claims in court that when she complained that her boss had raped her at work, she was told that “the incident was recorded on the video … they felt the incident was consensual … and what did she expect them to do, fire him?”
Plaintiff C.A. sued the Board of Trustees for the University of Illinois at Chicago, the Board of Trustees for the University of Illinois Medical Center, the University of Illinois Medical Center and her boss, Clinton Smith, in Cook County Court.
C.A. claims Smith made offensive sexual comments to her such as, “I would like to do it to you in your butt,” and eventually trapped her in an examination room and raped her.
C.A. says she worked as a housekeeper at the University of Illinois Medical Center on and off since 2005.
In 2010, the complaint states, “Plaintiff’s supervisor, Clinton Smith, started to sexually harass the plaintiff. … He would call her pretty and would announce to co-workers that claimant was his girlfriend and said ‘that’s my girl … isn’t she pretty;’ Smith would make her sit in the front seat when transporting her and other male workers to their job sites.”
C.A. claims says Smith told her: “‘I would like to do it to you in your butt;’ ‘your breasts look nice;’ ‘nice walk.’ Smith would call plaintiff on her cell phone and ask her ‘what kind of panties are you wearing.'”
C.A. says she reported the sexual harassment and the hospital reassigned her, but Smith remained her supervisor.
In March 2010, “Smith, at approximately 9:30 p.m. told the security guard Gary that he was no longer needed and could leave work. That left plaintiff alone in the building except for Clinton Smith,” the complaint states.
It continues: “Plaintiff was working on the first floor examination room and was cleaning the room. Smith entered and told plaintiff that he wanted the favor that she had allegedly promised him … and that if she wanted to keep her job, she would go and take her clothes off. Smith then proceeded to sexually assault and rape the plaintiff.
“Smith assaulted, and battered plaintiff, and falsely imprisoned her in not allowing her to escape or leave the premises before he raped her. … Plaintiff was afraid for her safety and afraid that he would hurt her if she did not comply. The security guard had been sent away and there was no one else in the building that could have helped her.”
The next day, C.A. says, she reported the rape to UIC police Officer Pedric and University of Illinois Medical Center Executive Director Henry Taylor. Then, she says: “Defendants informed the plaintiff that ‘the incident was recorded on the video from the room and that they felt the incident was consensual. That Smith was working for them for 16 years and had never been disciplined before and what did she expect them to do, fire him?'”
C.A. says that “defendants made it clear to plaintiff that they did not believe her when she stated it was not consensual and even Officer Pedric laughed at her when she told her it was not consensual. Plaintiff also reported the incident to the Chicago Police Department but was told that no charges would be filed against Smith because the UIC’s investigation reported the incident as consensual.”
C.A. says she was “too afraid for her safety and therefore was forced to voluntarily resign.”
She seeks punitive damages for civil rights violations, sexual harassment, rape, assault, battery, hostile work environment and sexual discrimination.
Neither Pedric nor Taylor is named as a defendant.
C.A. is represented by Annette Pinhasik.