According to TIME, a former New Hampshire police officer is suing her ex-employer for sexual harassment and for being wrongfully fired after lodging a complaint against him.
Alexandra Drake, 24, is suing the New Boston Police Department for sexual harassment in return for compensatory pay to cover her financial losses after she lost her job.
According to Drake's claims, her former supervisor, Lt. Michael Masella, sexually harassed her and other female staff members. Additionally, he regularly engaged in lewd discussions about women he encountered on the job, referring to their attractiveness on a scale of how much he would like to rape them.
The suit alleged, “After completing [a traffic] stop, he told Drake that he wanted to just take them out and ‘rape’ them rather than issue a citation.”
It continued, “Masella would routinely make comments about female drivers who he thought found him attractive or good looking. He has apparently developed a ‘rapability’ scale about female drivers and would test Drake whether a particular driver was ‘rapable.’” This word is beyond problematic as it makes a joke out of sexual assault itself.
Tony Soltani, Drake’s attorney, decried the ridiculousness of this blatant promotion of rape culture. He said, “I wish they would realize how idiotic their behavior is, how abusive it is. It’s fascinating that these people have the gall in 2014-15 in New Hampshire to come up to her and say, ‘You can’t jog in the streets of New Boston, because your clothes, which are a baggy jump suit, are too revealing, too sexy.”
Meanwhile, Masella’s attorney, Brian Cullen, says that the defendant “is shocked by the allegations and absolutely denies them.” According to Cullen, Masella maintains that Drake invented the stories in order to receive compensation for her termination.
While it’s not against the law by any means for Masella to say that he wishes to rape someone, it certainly doesn’t provide for a comfortable work environment. However, given the political times, it hardly seems surprising that a man in such a high position of authority would abuse his power to such misogynistic ends.
Banner/thumbnail credit: Flickr, Joe Gratz