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$325,000 Award for Virginia Sheriff's Sexual Harrasment, Battery and Harassment

On January 15, 2008, a federal jury awarded a former sheriff's deputy $325,000 for battery and sexual harassment she suffered at the hands of a former sheriff.

Lespia King, 22, a former deputy at the Roanoke City Jail in Virginia, filed suit against former sheriff George M. McMillian, alleging he made inappropriate advances toward her, forced her to sit on his lap and kiss him and threatened to deny her promotions if she didn't date him. She filed a civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in federal district court. Nine other women formerly employed at the sheriff's office and a female jail contractor testified that McMillian had also sexually harassed and sexually assaulted them. McMillian denied everything, claiming the charges were politically motivated.

The jury awarded $175,000 in compensatory damages and $100,000 in punitive damages against McMillian and $50,000 in compensatory damages against the sheriff's office. King was represented by Roanoke attorneys Terry N. Grimes and Melvin E. Williams. See: King v. McMillian, USDC, D. Va., No. 7-05-CV-521-SGW (Jan. 15, 2008).

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Related legal case

King v. McMillian

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