Gettysburg police officer claims sexual harassment in lawsuit

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GETTYSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Gettysburg’s only full-time female police officer is suing a supervisor, her chief and the borough, claiming her civil rights were violated when her complaints of sexual harassment were not taken seriously.

In the lawsuit filed last week in U.S. District Court, attorneys for Brandi Courtesis say the harassment by a fellow officer has been making her employment intolerable and officials haven’t done enough to stop it.

Courtesis says the other officer began harassing her in the fall of 2015 by making comments of sexual and derogatory nature including women with whom he’d had sexual relationships and sexual acts in which he had engaged.

Courtesis was in a relationship with the other officer, who is named as a co-defendant, between March and June of 2014, according to the suit.

Courtesis says her supervisor heard the officer making “moaning noises” and found the behavior offensive. She says he told her to forward her complaint to Chief Joe Dougherty, who issued counseling memos – a form of discipline – to both the officer and Courtesis.

She says her supervisor told her several times she had to “thicken [her] skin.”

When the harassment continued, Courtesis says she met with the borough manager and human resources about her complaints. She says Dougherty yelled at her for going over his head and ordered her not to again approach him about her “personal problems.”

She says when other officers in the department learned of her complaints, they made jokes about it in front of her.

The lawsuit seeks over $100,000 in compensatory damages, punitive damages, and attorney’s fees.Get breaking news, weather and traffic on the go. Download our News App and our Weather App for your phone and tablet.

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