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BOP Settles Sexual Harassment Suit for $1,000

The Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) paid $1,000 to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by a female guard at the Federal Medical Center in Minnesota.

Guard Beth Koenck alleged that in 1992 and 1993 guard Scott Christensen subjected her to “unwanted sexual advances, comments, and actions.”  She further alleged that such behavior was a cultural problem at the prison that management was aware of and failed to correct.

Koenck said Christensen requested oral sex from her, forced her  hands down his pants, exposed himself, and pushed her head towards his groin area.  Another time, he locked them in the property room and told Koenck to “finish what was started during the first incident.”  He then pushed her head forcibly towards his groin, removed her utility belt, unzipped her pants, and tried to pull them off.

The final incident occurred in the prisons Wellness Center.  Christensen sat on top of Koenck and put his hands up her tee shirt and down her shorts.  Koenck alleged prison officials knew of complaints by three other women against Christensen, but failed to act upon them.  When Christensen was investigated, Koenck felt “threatened and vulnerable.”  She further claimed she was thereafter treated differently than male officers in shift relief and was denied a promotion due to her sex.

The BOP agreed to the $1,000 settlement on December 13, 1999.  See: Koenck v. United States, USDC, D. Minnesota, Case No 98-1841.

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Related legal case

Koenck v. United States