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$42,000 Settlement for Catholic Nun Sexually Harassed by BOP Chaplain

The federal Bureau of Prisons paid $42,000 to settle a sexual harassment claim brought by a Catholic nun who worked as a Chaplin at FCT La Tuna in New Mexico.

Sister Sofia Berrones’ Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint alleged that on November 5, 1996, Chaplain Anthony Plathe, a Catholic priest, came into her office and offered what she thought was a brotherly hug.  Instead, Plathe “extended both hands toward me, moving them under my arms and cupping both hands under my breasts.”

She later learned Plathe had “dehumanized, violated and humiliated” volunteer Coordinator Maxine Griego.  “Chaplain Plathe targeted and calculated two Hispanic loyal, traditional Catholic women who would have kept quiet.  Then, the BOP has prevailed with the ‘sweeping it under the rug’ policy and has failed the real victims who took courage with nothing to gain by reporting it.”

Sister Berrones filed her EEOC complaint on September 29, 1997.  The $42,000 settlement was reached on February 14, 2000.  See:  Berrones v. Reno, U.S. Equal Employment Oppportunity Commission, Case No 360-99-8507X.

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Related legal case

Berrones v. Reno