A California woman is alleging that she was abused while working as an administrative assistant through the Archdiocese of San Francisco. The woman was set up with the job by a contractor in the area who had powerful connections. She argues that she was subject to serious sexual harassment in the workplace after the contractor demanded sex in exchange for providing her with the job.
Lawsuit documents show that a church official maintained a relationship with the alleged perpetrator of the harassment. The contractor effectively ran the Shrine of San Francisco, so he was able to hire the woman to provide administrative support. The 32-year-old single mother was hired in 2012.
She says she was subjected to violent sexual abuse that included being struck on the bare buttocks with a wooden paddle. The contractor also allegedly spanked the woman with his bare hands. He also reportedly forced the woman to have sex with him in a church Sacristy. The victim contends that sex and a variety of other activities were required for her to keep her job. The boss threatened consequences in exchange for sexual favor. He also allegedly sent the woman text messages threatening to spank her at work. Sex and filmed spankings continued for about a year, before the woman stood up to the man and lost her job, she says.
Even though the defendant in the case had a history of anger issues, it appears that his supervisors in the church ignored complaints about his behavior. The woman is suing that contractor and a monsignor at the National Shrine of Saint Francis of Assisi for a variety of claims, including quid pro quo sexual harassment, gender violence, wrongful termination, retaliation and others.
Source: Courthouse New Service, “‘This Is Stuff You Go to Hell for'” Dave Tartre, Feb. 03, 2014