In Lawsuit, Corrections Officer Alleges Sexual Harassment at Riverside Jail - NBC Southern California

In Lawsuit, Corrections Officer Alleges Sexual Harassment at Riverside Jail

"What else do I have left for them to take and trample all over?"

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    Culture of Sexual Harassment at Riverside Jail: Lawsuit

    A corrections officer in Riverside County said she and other female officers have been sexually harassed multiple times. Tony Shin reports for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, July 26, 2017. (Published Wednesday, July 26, 2017)

    A corrections officer at the Southwest Detention Center in Riverside has filed a lawsuit alleging sexual harassment by supervisors.

    Tammy Smoak, who has worked at the detention center for nine years, claims that she and other female officers have endured constant sexual harassment and discrimination from male supervisors.

    "It seems like everybody is on you, putting you down, and you can never come out of this dark hole," Smoak told NBC4.

    Smoak said that she was physically kicked and also denied promotion opportunities from supervisors after complaining about sexual misconduct from a male sergeant who was eventually forced to resign.

    The civil lawsuit claims that one recent supervisor - Sgt. Aaron Martin - began flirting with Smoak after initially offering a chance for possible promotion by mentoring her.

    Smoak admitted to flirting back, but said that Martin told her he just wanted to have sex. When she refused, Smoak said, Martin allegedly began verbally abusing her and cutting back her overtime, a financially devastating development for the single mother of two.

    "That put a strain upon her financially because she wasn't able to make ends meet," said Manuel Corrales Gilleon, Smoak's attorney.

    Martin refused to comment about the allegations. A spokesperson for the Riverside County Sheriff's Department said they do not comment on pending litigation.

    Smoak believes the lawsuit will most likely end her career, but she says the truth must come out.

    "What else do I have left for them to take and trample all over?" she said.

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