Former Police Officer Claims Sergeant Sexually Harassed Her
EVANSTON, Ill. (STMW) — A lawsuit was filed Monday claiming that an Evanston police officer sexually harassed a female officer after their relationship ended.
Claudia Young, a former Evanston police officer, claims she had a consensual relationship with a male Evanston police officer that continued sporadically from 1993 -1998, according to a lawsuit filed in Cook County Circuit Court.
The two did not speak for almost eight years until 2007, when the male officer began working in the same police unit as Young, according to the suit. Young and the officer began working on the same floor and during the same shift.
Shortly after transferring into the unit, the male officer began staring at Young in meetings and telling her he still loved her and missed talking to her, according to the suit. Young consistently rebuffed his advances, the suit said.
The male officer than began sending inappropriate text messages saying that he loved her and wanted to be with her, according to the suit.
The suit claims the male officer was promoted to sergeant in 2008 and continued sending her inappropriate text messages, including 10 messages during one shift, some including the code “143,” which was a code the two had that meant “I love you,” according to the suit.
At the end of the same shift, while Young was driving to pick up her husband from work, she received a text from the sergeant that said “d— tease.” Young was upset and called a friend, who is a commander in the police Internal Affairs division, who she’d previously told about the sergeant’s behavior.
The commander spoke with the male officer about the text message, but no further action was taken, according to the suit.
The suit claims the male officer began following Young when she was off-duty. In summer 2009, he called Young while standing in the park adjacent to her back yard and began waving at her. He also began attending her church and sitting behind her family during services, according to the suit.
The male officer began singling Young out at work, including one instance when he rubbed her cheek and chin and told her she needed a shave in front of her fellow officers during roll call, according to the suit.
During a police internal investigation, the male officer admitted to sending one of the inappropriate text messages and the roll call incident, according to the suit. He was demoted from a sergeant to the rank of police officer in March 2010.
Young left work in November 2009 as a result of the harassment that left her unable to function, the suit said. She suffered from several depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder, weight loss, sleeplessness, gastrointestinal problems, withdrawal and isolation, the suit said.
Young was under the care of a psychologist and psychiatrist for emotional distress and at the advice of her family physician did not return to work, the suit said. She was terminated from her job in December 2010.
The two-count suit seeks a jury trial, lost wages, benefits, more than $30,000 in damages, and attorney’s fees.
A spokesperson for the Evanston police was not available for comment.
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