A Los Angeles police detective has tentatively settled her lawsuit against the city in which she alleged her allegations of sexual harassment by a supervisor were ignored and that when she complained, management suggested that she was the one who had done something wrong.
Attorneys for Detective Tina Rios filed a notice of a “conditional” settlement on Tuesday with Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Rupert A. Byrdsong, but no terms were divulged. The court papers further stated that a request for dismissal will likely be filed by May 4. It was not immediately clear if the accord is subject to approval by the City Council.
In their court papers, lawyers for the City Attorney’s Office denied Rios’ allegations, said they were barred by the statute of limitations and that the city was immune from liability.
In her suit, Rios alleged she was subjected to sexual harassment beginning in late 2017 by a married then-supervisor who repeatedly propositioned the plaintiff, made offensive sexual comments, leered at her, texted her incessantly and followed her for no reason. Both were assigned at the time to the South Bureau’s fugitive warrant section, gang and narcotics division, according to the complaint.
The supervisor’s conduct was “thoroughly unwelcome and offensive to plaintiff,” the suit brought in January 2020 stated.
In February 2018, after a gathering of the fugitive warrants unit, Rios’ supervisor called her after she left and “repeatedly propositioned her and made unwelcome sexual advances to her despite plaintiff’s repeated and emphatic rejections,” the suit states.
“Once again, (Rios) felt powerless to stop the offensive conduct, which she was forced to endure despite her repeated objections for what seemed like an interminable time, causing her further distress,” the suit stated.
Rios complained to LAPD management about the supervisor’s alleged misconduct in April 2018, according to the suit.
“However, the ensuing actions of department supervisors served only to condone (the supervisor’s) conduct and to suggest that it was plaintiff who did something wrong by complaining of harassment,” the suit stated.
The alleged lack of support from department management “perpetuated and exacerbated the stigma already associated with making a sexual harassment complaint against another officer, causing plaintiff to be even more ostracized and to further experience hostility in the workplace,” according to the suit.