*WASHINGTON, DC – *Two new lawsuits filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia reveal that the FBI retaliated against two female employees who were sexually harassed and assaulted by male supervisors. After they reported the abuse to the FBI, the women faced further harassment and were ultimately forced to leave the FBI, while the perpetrators faced no consequences and were able to retire with full benefits.
“For too long, the FBI has perpetuated a toxic culture where sexual harassment and abuse are not only tolerated, but perpetrators are protected, and survivors are persecuted. This pattern of behavior is disgraceful in any workplace, but particularly so at the nation’s top law enforcement agency,” *said attorney for the plaintiffs David Shaffer*. “In coming forward, these two brave women are holding the FBI accountable and hope to bring about urgently-needed change within the bureau.”
One complaint details the experience of a female analyst at the Training Academy at Quantico who is a military veteran and was sexually assaulted by an FBI supervisor at an off-site holiday party in 2017. She was then retaliated against for reporting the assault to her FBI superiors and filing a criminal complaint, and was continually harassed and forced to work in a hostile environment – including alongside those who tried to protect her assailant. She ultimately was forced to leave the FBI after six years of service. Meanwhile, her attacker was able to quietly retire with benefits, facing no repercussions for the sexual assault he committed.
The other complaint outlines a chilling pattern of emotional, physical, and sexual abuse that a female employee suffered at the hands of her manager, the Special Agent in Charge of the field office where she worked, for nearly a decade, beginning in 2011. Over the course of two years, he subjected her to non-consensual sexual encounters, control, assault, imprisonment, stalking, and harassment that continued in-person until he moved to another state, after which he continued to track, stalk, call, and email incessantly. The Office of Inspector General, instead of taking action against her tormentor, terminated her for allegedly untruthful statements that she made under threats of harm against her and her family.
These suits, filed by civil rights attorneys David Shaffer and Kelley Brooks Simoneaux, come a little over a year after Shaffer filed a class action lawsuit for sixteen women who trained to become FBI agents and analysts accusing the bureau of gender discrimination in how it trains and evaluates female candidates for Special Agent positions. The women are supported by the TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund, which provides legal and public relations assistance to survivors.