While it was once common for sexual harassment complaints to be swept under the rug, the #MeToo movement has worked endlessly to not only bring awareness to the issue but also discontinue this broken practice of how complaints are being handled. A prime example of the progress the movement has made is one that involves a Maryland state legislator.
According to The Washington Post, Del. Curtis S. Anderson (D-Baltimore City) is facing the repercussions of his actions that stem back to 2004. Anderson was accused by five women of sexual harassment and assault. A police report that was filed back in December 2017, claimed that in 2004, Anderson locked a former staff member inside his office in Baltimore, “kissed her despite her protestation, pushed her onto a sofa, took off her clothes, and performed oral sex on her against her will” [Source: The Baltimore Sun].
The other women accused Anderson of making inappropriate comments and even an unwanted kiss. One woman said Anderson had approached her while on the floor of the House of Delegates and he told her, “They say I’m not supposed to do this anymore,” and proceeded to kiss her on the mouth. The woman said she was “stunned” and “embarrassed” but didn’t report the incident to the ethics officials at the time it occurred. Another woman stated that her encounter with Anderson was “over the line” after he “looked her up and down and told her, “I’d do you” in front of a group of colleagues.” She also didn’t report the incident until recently saying that she “laughed it off because that’s what woman have been having to do for so long.”
Accusations Lead to a Loss of Leadership
After the accusations were made, an independent investigator was brought in to interview the victims who came forward along with others who may have witnessed the alleged incidents. After a thorough investigation was completed, it was decided that Anderson would be “stripped of his leadership positions and sent to one-on-one anti-harassment training,” says The Washington Post. The intense training would be in addition to the required training that all other Maryland state legislators must attend.
While some felt the punishment could be much harsher, Lisae C. Jordan, who is the executive director of Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault says, “it’s an important first step in changing the culture in Annapolis to discipline someone for sexual harassment.”
Anderson had been working as a deputy majority whip and served in the legislature from 1983 to 1995. He then came back and worked from 2003 until present. While Anderson has denied all of the accusations made against him, The Washington Post said he “plans to comply with the punishment.”
The #MeToo movement has prompted many sexual harassment victims to come forward and it should encourage you as well if someone has sexually harassed you.
Despite whether the punishments were adequate for the acts Anderson was accused of committing, this case does reveal that consequences are now being given to those who commit acts of sexual harassment rather than them engaging in unethical behavior and getting away with it. Something else this case reveals is that if you are a victim of sexual harassment, it is important that you come forward with your complaint so that something can be done. If you don’t, the person who caused you to suffer from pain and mental anguish won’t be held accountable for their actions.
Therefore, if you are a victim of sexual misconduct and the act occurred in Baltimore, MD, USAttorneys.com wants to help get you connected with a legal professional who can guide you in the right direction to obtain justice. The Baltimore, MD sexual harassment lawyers we work with have helped hundreds of victims take legal action against individuals who have violated their rights and they can help you too.