Hudson Valley Officer Sexually Harassed By Boss, Lawsuit Claims
A Hudson Valley correction officer claims she was sexually harassed by her supervisor for years.
On Tuesday, Wallesca Penz, a correction officer at the Fishkill Correctional Facility, filed a lawsuit against Lt. Al Washer.
The lawsuit claims Washer sexually harrassed Penz multiple times and even once painted her apartment pink without her consent, in an attempt to strike fear in her.
The two lived across the hall from each other in a state-owned apartment. Penz claims Washer had served alcohol at parties he housed in his home every weekend, in violation of building code. She said no to his party invitations, which lead to more sexual harassment on and off duty, Penz alleges.
“You can leave only if you’re going to stay in my room and I will meet you there,” Washer allegedly told her when she asked to take a tour off, according to the New York Daily News. “If you don’t, trust me, you will regret it.”
According to the lawsuit, Washer greets female co-workers with a kiss an hug, a practice high-ranking prison officials know of and allow.
After Penz filed internal grievances, Washer rejected her vacation requests, among other moves, the lawsuit alleges.
“The more grievances you turn in, the more it shows you want me,” Penz said he told her on this past April.
Then on May 25 the pair ran into each other in the prison parking lot.
“I am going home. Want to come with me? Your husband will think you are at work,” he said to her the lawsuit claims. "You will regret it once again!”
A spokesperson for the state Department of Corrections told the Daily News an investigation into the claims is underway.
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