A bisexual police officer has filed a lawsuit alleging that she endured over a year’s worth of sexual harassment from within the Greenburgh Police Department of Westchester County, New York.
In her lawsuit, officer Kristin Stein alleged that her nightshift partner, fellow officer Jeff Cerone, threw her against a desk and “pushed his genital area into her buttocks, toppling over her and ramming himself into her,” Gay City News reported.
Body camera footage of the incident captured other officers laughing at Cerone’s behavior. One officer said, “I think he has a crush on her,” and another commented, “He tries to assert his dominance to show that he has the penis in the relationship.”
Cerone was reportedly “lightly reprimanded” by being taken off the night shift and having some vacation time deducted. However, Stein alleged the department officials otherwise didn’t take her sexual assault allegations seriously.
Stein said she feels like she was targeted both for her gender and sexual orientation. She also called the police department a “boy’s club” that targets people for being different. One colleague repeatedly pressured her for a date with texts and gifts during working hours. Another became upset after learning she is bisexual.
When she began working at the department, she said a fellow female suggested that she remain quiet about any sexual harassment, her lawsuit claimed.
“I truly believe that once the men in the department found out that there was a possibility that I was interested in men, and that I was in a relationship with a female, that everything became a fantasy,” Stein said. “Everything became almost like pornographic with me.”
Greenburgh Police Supervisor Paul Feiner said the police chief had denied any wrongdoing , but pledged to look more closely at how the department handles sexual harassment among employees, News 12 reported.
Stein took a leave from the department for her mental health and hasn’t returned since filing the suit. She said she’s worried that her lawsuit will hurt her chances of being hired at other police departments.
“I’ve never had one bad reprimand,” she said. “I’ve only gotten awards and good community letters. And within five years, my career is ruined because I didn’t want to fall in line with the other guys.”