News coverage on case settled by Partner Nina Pirrotti: CCSU to pay $1.75 million settlement of claims accusing campus police officers of sexual harassment, assault

Aug 27 2020

As it appeared on WTNH News 8

by: Leah Myers

NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (WTNH) — The legal team of a woman police officer at Central Connecticut State University says she has obtained a $1.75 million settlement against the University after accusing it of fostering “an environment in its police department where sexual harassment and even sexual assault was the norm.”

The lawsuit says their client was raped by an officer who worked alongside her on three separate occasions.

When she reported the incidents to her supervisor, the suing officer was both publicly shamed and denied backup when reporting to calls around campus, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit also alleges that other officers sexually harassed undergraduate students. The CCSU police department did not conduct any investigations into these incidents, according to the lawsuit.

An outside firm later investigated the campus police department and found that the department failed to take preventing sexual assault and holding people accountable seriously.

The officer accused of rape was fired from the University in 2018.

The lawsuit also accuses professors and CCSU’s Chief Diversity Officer of sexual misconduct, and they are still employed by the University today.

The suing officer was one out of two women in the CCSU police department out of 29 officers total.

In a statement regarding the case, CCSU President Zulma Toro said, “In working with the Attorney General’s Office, CCSU settled the sexual assault case brought by a female police officer against a male police officer. The University terminated the male officer in fall 2018. This case was one of several brought to light when President Toro arrived at CCSU, and she has worked to transform the campus culture while sending a loud and clear message that sexual misconduct and bullying are not tolerated at CCSU.”

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