A Michigan woman alleges in a lawsuit that she was sexually assaulted by her supervisor at a court-ordered work program in Redford Township.
Linda Sexton filed the 183-count lawsuit against Redford Township on Monday, alleging two township employees worked together to isolate and sexually assault her while she was attending a probationary work program for a non-violent criminal offense two years ago.
Sexton says the two men claimed they worked for the court and police and that she needed to do whatever they told her to do.
Sexton also says that one of the supervisors, Larry Dunn, told her, "I make the rules" and "I'm the boss.”
Sexton says that Dunn, of Sterling Heights, made several inappropriate comments about her body and clothing and that she wanted to go home but was afraid to leave because that would violate her probation.
Over the course of the next few days, according to the lawsuit, Dunn lured Sexton into a locked building and said, "I am the mayor,” before sexually assaulting her.
In addition to threatening to hogtie and kidnap her, the lawsuit says that Dunn threatened Sexton with his position, saying, "I can find you anywhere.”
In January, Dunn was criminally charged with sexual assault after failing a polygraph test, which found he gave untruthful answers to questions about the assault. Dunn was eventually convicted after taking a plea agreement.
The lawsuit filed on Monday names Redford Township, Dunn, and another supervisor of the work program, Dearborn Heights resident Thomas Cernuto.
Sexton's attorney, Jonathan R. Marko of Detroit, calls the case "a tragic case of abuse of power,” adding that “Redford had a rapist in charge of its work program that forced vulnerable citizens to be exposed to him or be thrown in jail.”
“Ms. Sexton had no choice but to report to this man and be violated in the most horrible way as part of her sentence for a minor infraction. How many other people have been victimized in this program?"
Marko adds that he believes there are others who have been victimized and hopes that they will come forward.
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