FORT WAYNE – Lewd jokes, pornography, obscene gestures, sexist remarks and a sex toy for a mascot.
That’s the picture a veteran Fort Wayne police detective painted of her male-dominated unit in a lawsuit filed last month, claiming all of that was part of the daily routine at her job.
Bridget Glaser, who joined the force in 1993 and became a detective in 2002, is suing the Fort Wayne Police Department for allowing sexual harassment to go unabated for at least two years.
In U.S. District Court documents, Glaser’s claims include:
A deputy chief stated in 2010, What do you say to a woman with two black eyes? Nothing, she has already been told twice.
A sergeant pressured her that same year to view his personal pornography collection.
A sergeant who was her direct supervisor brought a sex toy into the office in 2011. For six months the toy was used by the sergeant and others to simulate sex positions and as the prop and genesis for sexually inappropriate jokes and comments.
The sex toy was referred to as the office mascot and was frequently placed on employee’s desks, chairs or work areas.
Male employees would make up fictitious titles of pornographic films in front of female employees. These male employees also repeatedly made sexualized gestures at the office, such as grabbing their groin and simulating masturbation.
Male employees referred to their genitals and female employees in derogatory or obscene ways.
In her lawsuit, Glaser also claims that she went to a captain about the behavior in 2010 and told him among other things, that female employees were treated as second class citizens, they were not heard in the department, and they were invisible.
She also complained about the sex toy to the supervisor who brought it in, but nothing was done, according to her lawsuit.
Glaser, who could not be reached for comment Thursday, went to Chief Rusty York about the unit’s behavior in April, according to the lawsuit.
One or two weeks before her meeting with York – who did not return a message seeking comment – the sex toy disappeared from the office. But the sexual comments and jokes continued, according to the lawsuit.
In fact, a sergeant would openly play the Thunder Song, a tune containing what the lawsuit calls sexually offensive lyrics featured in Ted, a movie released this year about a grown man and his vulgar come-to-life teddy bear.
Glaser did not welcome the sexually harassing conduct, and found it offensive, the lawsuit says. Glaser has suffered damages as a result of defendant’s actions and negligence.
Glaser is seeking damages from the police department for her emotional pain and suffering as well as attorney and court costs, according to the suit.