A police lieutenant and three sergeants at a Branchburg, New Jersey police department were named in a six-count lawsuit filed by officer Kate Proscia-Berger in Superior Court in Warren County in Phillipsburg. According to the lawsuit, the men sexually harassed her and created a hostile work environment. The lawsuit also claims the men retaliated against her and refused to promote her after she reported the incident to supervisors.
According to the lawsuit, Proscia-Berger claims one of the sergeants repeatedly asked her for sex since 2002, kissed her and groped her, and even reached for her crotch in a patrol car. She said the lieutenant also said he wanted to have sex with her and one day stood in the doorway of the locker room touching his genitals and telling her he needed to be touched sexually.
But when Proscia-Berger reported the harassment to her supervisor, he told her he couldn’t do anything about it since it was a “he said, she said” allegation. She claims he also told the police chief that she wrote anonymous letters criticizing the chief as a way to discredit her. As a result, she alleges she was repeatedly passed up for promotions.
At one point, another female superior officer told Proscia-Berger that she was bullied by the lieutenant to vote against Proscia-Berger’s promotion, but she refused and voted in Proscia-Berger’s favor instead.
According to Proscia-Berger’s attorney, other women in the police force were subjected to similar sexual harassment and assault.