Update: Lawsuit claims sexual harassment by Prosecutor Nick Hermann
EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - The woman claiming she was sexually harassed by Vanderburgh County Prosecutor Nick Hermann has officially filed suit.
In 2019, Samantha Merideth filed a complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
The Vanderburgh County Prosecutor’s Office says the complaint was dismissed by the EEOC in November.
Now, a complaint has been filed in U.S. District Court.
Merideth is asking for a jury trial.
“She primarily just wants Mr. Hermann to be held accountable for his behavior. For the things that happened in Chicago and also the way that she was treated within his office," said Brandon Danks, Merideth’s attorney.
No criminal charges have been filed against Hermann.
Merideth claims during a business to Chicago in 2013, Hermann made inappropriate comments during dinner and asked her back to his hotel room for a drink.
She claims Hermann put her in handcuffs and put a gun on the desk. Merideth says Hermann blocked her when she tried to leave, then picked her up, threw him over his shoulder, and carried her back to a chair.
“She primarily just wants Mr. Hermann to be held accountable for his behavior," Danks said. “For the things that happened in Chicago and also the way that she was treated within his office.”
After the trip, she says rumors were spread, which lead to a hostile work environment, harassment, and bullying.
Merideth says she was forced to resign as soon as Hermann started his new term in 2019.
Hermann said last year, he disagrees with Merideth’s assessment of events that happened in Chicago, and he denies making advancements towards her.
His office released a new statement on Tuesday:
“We were made aware today that Danks & Danks filed suit in federal court on behalf of a former employee.
This allegation was previously investigated by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Following the investigation, the EEOC issued a dismissal of the claim on Nov 12, 2019.
As this is an ongoing legal matter, our office will have no further public comment.”
According to her attorney, Meredith wants to prevent an alleged incident from happening to anyone else.
“She’s seeking that they be penalized for that behavior and also to deter that from happening in the future," Danks said.
The Indiana Attorney Generals office also released a statement:
"The Office represents prosecutors that are sued in their official capacity. and they say they will ‘vigorously defend the state’s interests in this matter’.”
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