Several female correctional officers in Chicago are suing their sheriff's office over allegedly not doing enough to prevent inmates from sexual harassing them — and their lawsuit comes just days after a number of local public defenders made similar allegations.
The correctional officers claim inmates at the Cook County jail have groped them, "brazenly" masturbated in front of them and hurled sexually-charged insults and threats. The inmates have allegedly also "aimed ejaculations" at the officers, groped them and hurled sexually degrading insults and threats, according to the proposed class-action lawsuit, which was first reported by the Chicago Tribune.
The work environment "is permeated with discriminatory intimidation, ridicule and insults so severe and pervasive and so consistently traumatizing as to make the jail an objectively abusive and hostile workplace for women," the suit charges.
A spokesperson for the Cook County sheriff's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Daily News.
Earlier this week, a group of female public defenders in Cook County filed a lawsuit making nearly identical allegations. The defenders claim inmates at the county jail have masturbated in front of them and made sexually-charged threats while in courtroom lockups. They also charge that their boss, Amy Campanelli, and Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart have allowed the "toxic" work environment to persist.
Both lawsuits seek monetary damages and a court order that would force Sheriff Dart to work actively towards quelling the harassment.