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Woman sues the City of Warner Robins over sexual harassment, assault in workplace

A former City of Warner Robins employee says she was sexually harassed and physically assaulted by a coworker, and she says the city and the police didn't do enough

WARNER ROBINS, Ga. — A former City of Warner Robins employee says she was sexually harassed and physically assaulted by a coworker, and she says the city and the police didn't do enough to stop him.

We pulled city and police records on the case.

The woman's lawyers filed a federal lawsuit in May. 

We are not naming her because she's an alleged victim in this case.

She worked for the City of Warner Robins in 2020 and 2021 and says one male coworker harassed her, propositioned her, and then assaulted her.

She says city leaders didn't do enough to keep the man out of her office and didn't take her complaints seriously. 

We show you only a 10th of nearly 600 pages of Warner Robins city records on this alleged assault case. 

An attorney filed the case in May in federal court.

We've combed through the records, and here's what we know.

The woman says her troubles started in the spring of 2020, when the city was on COVID-19 lockdown. 

She said one man from another department kept coming in to talk without a business reason. 

Court records say he called her "attractive," said he had an open marriage, and offered to fix her lawnmower in exchange for sex. 

After about two months, she claims, he assaulted her and "physically grabbed her to drag her into the bathroom to have sex with him." That was in June 2020.

The lawsuit says she reported this to her immediate supervisor and a department head.

Court documents say the two supervisors reminded the woman she was still in her new-hire probationary period and said they wanted to keep things in-house.

According to the lawsuit, they said they warned the man to stay away from her, but admitted that wasn't working.

One of them allegedly said, "I guess he just doesn't want to follow directions, does he?" and laughed.

The lawsuit says she tried to take the matter to the Warner Robins Police Department in June 2020.

She claims that an officer would not take a police report at the direction of former Mayor Randy Toms.

The officer allegedly told her since the city was "investigating the matter internally," he was prohibited from making a police report or filing a restraining order. That's according to the lawsuit.

According to a police report, two months later, former Mayor Toms hired an outside investigator from an Atlanta firm.

The investigator, Angela Couch, visited Warner Robins in August 2020 for interviews. 

In this report, the investigator wrote that the man "immediately became visibly nervous," while the woman stayed "relaxed and calm."

Couch wrote that she found the woman's complaints credible and her story "specific and consistent."

Couch also wrote that the man should be disciplined.

Nearly a month after the report, the city suspended the man for three days and required him to complete eight hours of sexual harassment training, which he completed, but the woman says the case didn't end there.

She says the man continued to drop into her work area uninvited, and last year, she says he removed a physical barrier in her office and came within inches of her body.

According to the lawsuit, she said she had a panic attack for fear he was going to attack her again.

She says doctors diagnosed her with anxiety, depression, and PTSD, and told her not to return to work unless the city could keep the man away from her.

She wrote an email to her bosses in April 2021 to say she was taking sick leave.

The woman wrote, "I do not understand why you chose to let a sexual predator keep his job and victimize me again. Why was my safety not important that you put me in a hostile work environment?"

Her lawsuit says the city put her on unpaid leave, effectively discharging her; and later that year, her suit says, the man harassed another city worker, cornered her alone in a supply area, and said he wanted to have sex with her.

According to the lawsuit, he was allowed to resign. 

Finally in May, the city terminated the woman's employment, saying they would not hold her job open any longer.

Her lawyers filed the lawsuit one week later.

The city has not confirmed if the man was allowed to resign or if he was fired. 

We reached out to former Mayor Randy Toms, the City of Warner Robins legal team, current Mayor LaRhonda Patrick, and Warner Robins Police Chief John Wagner. They all declined to comment.

The lawsuit demands a trial by jury.

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