The former manager of a limousine company who fired an employee for refusing to have sex with him has cost the company hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Raymond Townsend, former manager at US Limousine in Long Island, New York, was found liable for sexual harassment against Geralyn Ganci after more than a year of inappropriate and disturbing text messages. One of the texts specifically stated that she was being fired because she “refused to have sex with the general manager," reports The New York Post.
Ganci, 32, worked as a dispatcher at the company. She sat near Townsend’s wife at the office, but that didn’t stop the manager from repeatedly asking her for sex.
She was terminated in 2009 after the manager allegedly forced her into a bathroom and put his hands up her shirt. His wife was not at work that day.
The original sexual harassment complaint against Townsend was filed in 2010. It stated that Townsend would call Ganci “at all hours of the day and night, during work and after the work day to convey disgusting, sexually suggestive, erotic and vile messages of a sexual nature.”
Ganci said that in one text message, Townsend said he “had to pull over to the side of the road and masturbate” thinking about her, according to court documents.
Another text message was sent by Townsend in which he asked Ganci to come over to his house while his wife was visiting her mother for the evening. He also sent her pictures of his “lap.”
Messages of this nature reportedly continued for a year, but it was one text message that Ganci kept that would cost Townsend and the company dearly.
In the message, Townsend reportedly told Ganci she lost her job because she “refused to have sex with the general manager,” court papers stated.
The incriminating text message was used as evidence in the civil rights suit and Townsend and US Limousine were found liable for more than $700,000 in damages and fees, the New York Post reports.
Ganci, who said she had attended the wedding of Townsend and his wife, had originally asked for $5 million.
She said Townsend caused her emotional distress so severe it landed her in the hospital. She recalled receiving a phone call from Townsend while in the hospital in which he asked about her breasts.
The jury found Townsend liable for sexual harassment and creating a hostile work environment, but not for intentionally inflicting emotional distress.
Townsend is no longer employed at US limousine.
The complaint stated that after Townsend fired Ganci, he offered to fire someone in the company’s “wedding department” to hire her back in a different position.
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