March 02, 2005

Women sue Newark diocese, claim sexual harassment


3/2/2005, 3:42 p.m. ET
The Associated Press

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) Two female employees have sued the Episcopal Diocese of Newark, alleging it failed to address repeated sexual harassment by a priest.

The suit filed Wednesday in federal court by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission claims the Rev. Dana Rose regularly made "sexually explicit, insulting and derogatory" comments to the women.

The Rev. Canon Paul S. Hunt said the diocese would fight the lawsuit, which seeks compensatory and punitive damages for what it called the diocese's "malicious and reckless behavior."

"The Diocese of Newark is committed to a safe and discrimination-free workplace," Hunt said. "Our investigation thus far has revealed there is no legal merit to the claim. It is therefore our intent to vigorously defend against the lawsuit."

Michelle Wilson and Maxine Gooden allege in the lawsuit that during Rose's frequent visits to the diocese's office, where both women worked as administrative assistants beginning in 2002, he made remarks such as, "You know I'm your baby's daddy."

Posted by kshaw at March 2, 2005 08:27 PM