Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

El Monte police officer claims repeated sexual harassment [Updated]

October 16, 2009 |  9:50 am

A veteran El Monte police officer claims in a lawsuit that she was sexually harassed for years by colleagues, including a supervisor who repeatedly commented on her body and told her women should not be cops but made "natural waitresses and food servers."

Mechelle Marin alleged in an 18-page complaint that supervisors in the El Monte Police Department looked the other way when she was harassed and intimidated, and took no disciplinary action against those who allegedly did it.

"Officer Marin's efforts to obtain relief by filing internal complaints have thus far been futile," said her attorney, Solomon E. Gresen. [Updated at 5:03 p.m.: An earlier version of this post incorrectly gave the attorney's last name as Green.] His client is seeking damages for emotional distress and lost earnings and job opportunities.

A department spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment. 

Gresen said his client was repeatedly subjected to improper comments about her clothing and body and that one supervisor named in the lawsuit suggested Marin could trade time off for sexual favors. That same supervisor, the suit claims, would look directly into Marin's chest while speaking to her.

When Marin continued to complain about the alleged conduct, the supervisor made comments that were generally directed at women, opining "at various times that 'a woman's place is in the home' and that women 'are natural waitresses and food servers,'" she said in the lawsuit.

--Andrew Blankstein

More breaking news in L.A. Now:

Downey delays renaming street after space shuttle

Resident pistol-whipped in Northridge home-invasion robbery

Two more water main breaks: Hollywood and the Hollywood Hills

Judge orders Lindsay Lohan to Beverly Hills court over terms of DUI sentence

Woman killed, man injured in Huntington Park shooting

Sarkozy criticizes arrest of Roman Polanski

L.A. teachers union advised to sue to block potential hand-over of new schools to charter operators

Santa Monica loosens policy for street performers

Santa Monica tenants and property owners to mark 30 years of rent control

Agency buys apartment complex for Venice homeless

Deputies investigating possible robbery, kidnapping at the Commerce Casino