Sheriff's Office files response in sexual harassment lawsuit | Crime
IREDELL COUNTY, NC (WBTV)- The Iredell County Sheriff has filed a response to a sexual harassment lawsuit filed against one of its detectives.
Sheriff Phil Redmond and Deputy Ben Jenkins deny all claims of sexual harassment in the lawsuit. They are asking the court to dismiss the case.
The case was filed in U.S. District Court in Charlotte. The lawsuit involves two women, Suzanne Wick and Lisa Mangiardi, who say Deputy Jenkins sexually harassed them while they were seeking protection during a domestic violence case.
Mangiardi says she is now an empowered woman.
However, four years ago she was trying to escape an abusive husband and protect her children. Mangiardi says she was scared for their safety.
Finally, she sought help from the criminal justice system. That's how she met Ben Jenkins, who was a detective at the time in Iredell County's domestic violence unit.
Mangiardi is the second woman to claim Jenkins harassed and stalked her, abusing his power and authority to try and advance a sexual relationship.
Lisa Mangiardi and Suzanne Wick filed the lawsuit in Iredell County, but it was recently moved to federal court.
They claim Sheriff Phil Redmond is responsible for not managing and supervising his employee. While Mangiardi says she never complained to the Department, Wick says she did.
Wick says her encounters with Jenkins happened in 2009 as she was trying to flee an abusive husband.
The court response does admit that Wick filed a complaint in 2009 and that Jenkins was demoted to a position in the county jail afterwards.
The response also admits that Jenkins had contact with Mangiardi through his job at the courthouse.
Copyright 2012 WBTV. All rights reserved.
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