Three Strikes, Now PA Cop Behind Bars
Philadelphia, PA – Three. That is the number of women stepping forward this month with claims of sexual harassment against one, individual Pennsylvania police officer.
Two weeks ago, Albert Dion Ross, a 47-year-old officer of Delaware County, Pennsylvania, was charged with assaulting two women in two separate incidents in August 2015 and May 2017. After learning of these earlier charges against Ross, a third woman also stepped forward. This woman told police how Ross groped her while he was on duty.
This third claim of sexual harassment occurred roughly one year ago, in 2016. After her complaint, the victim noticed on numerous occasions Ross in his police vehicle in her neighborhood. In almost every instance he appeared around 6 a.m., the time she usually waters her flowers.
On the day of the assault, Ross, in uniform, talked with her outside her home. At one point, he asked if he could give her a hug and the woman reluctantly agreed. Ross then approached her and groped both of her breasts. Such conduct was unexpected and certainly unwelcome by the woman.
In the other two sexual assault actions, Ross faces, the county is charging him with two counts each of indecent assault, official oppression, and harassment, according to the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office.
One of these earlier victims claims Ross put his flashlight down her tank top, between her breasts, saying “let me see.”
The other, a 46-year-old woman, claims that Ross put his hands down her pants, kissed her, pulled down her tank top, and grabbed her breasts
The attorney on the case stated, “Officer Ross used his position of authority to coerce and intimidate these women into acts for his own sexual gratification… His behavior is extremely offensive.”
None of this is new. According to authorities, Ross has a history of sexual harassment against women. At one previous job as a corrections officer at George W. Hill Correctional Facility in Glen Mills, his employer terminated him for sexual harassment and “improper conversation with a subordinate.” At another job at Chester Housing Authority Police Department, a female resident filed a complaint about Ross, alleging he kissed her without consent.
In the employment setting, employees are protected from sexual harassment and sexual assault. Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Law of 1964, sexual harassment is considered a form of gender discrimination because it is harassing conduct that occurs because of an individual’s gender. Moreover, Pennsylvania and the City of Philadelphia have additional protections for individuals facing discrimination from their employers. Such protections go beyond Title VII.
The Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (“EEOC”), the Federal administrative agency that enforces Title VII, defines sexual harassment as “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature.”
What are some examples of sexual harassment?
Sexual harassment is not mutual, it is rude, demeaning behavior and is usually about the abuse of power. Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature, including text messages and emails. Moreover, it is important to note that one specific woman does not have to be the target, sexual harassment can psychologically hurt other the women —or men— involved and the work atmosphere too. The actions of former officer Ross and abusers like him are deplorable.
If you are a victim of gender-motivated violence, sex discrimination, or unlawful employment discrimination contact the experienced Philadelphia sexual harassment and discrimination attorneys at the Derek Smith Law Group, PLLC. Our attorneys have years of experience litigating claims of gender discrimination in Pennsylvania. Working together with our New York City sexual harassment and discrimination attorneys, we have recovered millions on behalf of our clients who were discriminated against because of their gender. If you feel you have been discriminated against because of your gender, please give our attorneys a call, toll-free, at (800) 807-2209, for your free consultation.