You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to www.journalgazette.net/newsletter and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.

Courts

  • Guilty plea filed in near-record marijuana haul
    A 51-year-old Indianapolis man pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court, admitting to dealing large quantities of marijuana shipped in appliances.
  • City to pay $15,000 in police shooting
    The city of Fort Wayne will pay $15,000 to the estate of a man killed by police in late December 2010. Originally filed in Allen Superior Court, the lawsuit was transferred to federal court.
  • Warsaw printer accused over firing
    The Indiana Civil Rights Commission found probable cause that a Warsaw company discriminated against a pregnant employee. According to a press release issued Friday, the Warsaw location of R.
Advertisement

Detective's suit alleges lewd, sexist FWPD unit

– Lewd jokes, pornography, obscene gestures, sexist remarks and a sex toy for a mascot.

That's the picture a veteran Fort Wayne police detective painted of her male-dominated unit in a lawsuit filed last month, claiming all of that was part of the daily routine at her job.

Bridget Glaser, who joined the force in 1993 and became a detective in 2002, is suing the Fort Wayne Police Department for allowing sexual harassment to go unabated for at least two years.

In U.S. District Court documents, Glaser's claims include:

•A deputy chief stated in 2010, "What do you say to a woman with two black eyes? Nothing, she has already been told twice."

•A sergeant pressured her that same year to view his personal pornography collection.

•A sergeant who was her direct supervisor brought a sex toy into the office in 2011. For six months the toy was used by the sergeant and others to simulate sex positions and as "the prop and genesis for sexually inappropriate jokes and comments."

•The sex toy was referred to as the office mascot and was frequently placed on employee's desks, chairs or work areas.

•Male employees would make up fictitious titles of pornographic films in front of female employees. These male employees also "repeatedly made sexualized gestures at the office, such as grabbing their groin and simulating masturbation."

•Male employees referred to their genitals and female employees in derogatory or obscene ways.

In her lawsuit, Glaser also claims that she went to a captain about the behavior in 2010 and told him "among other things, that female employees were treated as second class citizens, they were not heard in the department, and they were invisible."

She also complained about the sex toy to the supervisor who brought it in, but nothing was done, according to her lawsuit.

Glaser, who could not be reached for comment Thursday, went to Chief Rusty York about the unit's behavior in April, according to the lawsuit.

One or two weeks before her meeting with York, the sex toy disappeared from the office. But the sexual comments and jokes continued, according to the lawsuit.

In fact, a sergeant would openly play the "Thunder Song," a tune containing what the lawsuit calls "sexually offensive lyrics" featured in "Ted," a movie released this year about a grown man and his vulgar come-to-life teddy bear.

"Glaser did not welcome the sexually harassing conduct, and found it offensive," the lawsuit says. "Glaser has suffered damages as a result of defendant's actions and negligence."

Glaser is seeking damages from the police department for her emotional pain and suffering as well as attorney and court costs, according to the suit.

Police Chief York in a phone call with The Associated Press said he had met with Glaser and investigated her claims. He said she works in the department's sex crimes unit and leads its Internet child pornography team, meaning she is "inherently" exposed to objectionable material.

"By the nature of that work, unfortunately, these men and women are exposed to very disgusting and repugnant, not only pieces on the Internet but pieces that we confiscate," York said in the phone interview Friday.

York said officials believe her lawsuit is without merit.

"We feel comfortable with our actions," York said.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

jeffwiehe@jg.net

Advertisement