Sexual Abuse Cases by Employers

Employers - Photo by: andriano.cz Sexual assault in the workplace is unfortunately all too common. Employers have an obligation to keep their employee safe. Nonetheless, whether the abuser is the employer, a boss, a fellow employee or a third–party visiting the place of employment, employees can be vulnerable and subject to sexual abuse or harassment. Circumstances of employment often create unequal positions of power that are exploited by the abuser. The most infamous perpetrators include:

Harvey Weinstein

Arguably one of the most notorious cases of sexual assault in the workplace is the Harvey Weinstein case. Over decades the Hollywood producer was accused by dozens of women, many of them famous actresses, of felony sex crimes. Weinstein used his power in the industry over these women to threaten, assault, humiliate, and silence them. He was found guilty of two felony sex crimes in New York and will be facing similar charges in California.

James Levine and the Metropolitan Opera

James Levine was the Metropolitan Opera’s conductor for more than four decades when he was accused by four men of sexually abusive and harassing behavior when they were teenagers associated with various artistic organizations for which Levine worked. The investigation uncovered many more accusers and many more disturbing incidents with young musicians. Levine used tactics of power to gain control over these young men who wanted to make a career in music.

Jeffrey Epstein

While not a traditional work setting, Jeffrey Epstein used the guise of employment to run an elaborate sex trafficking ring of underaged girls. The girls were first hired by Epstein to give him massages. Many were sexually assaulted and/or hired for more money to recruit other teenage girls. Girls were trained how to sexually pleasure him, to be office assistants, and recruiters of more victims. They often came from financially insecure backgrounds with promises of assistance with education and careers.

Roger Ailes and Fox News

Roger Ailes was a CEO of Fox News who was accused by more than 20 women of sexual harassment and sexual assault over a period of 50 years. Victims include hosts Gretchen Carlson, Megyn Kelly, and Andrea Tantaros; booker, Laurie Luhn; producer, Shelley Ross; and former Republican National Committee field advisor, Kellie Boyle among many others. Accusations ranged from forced oral sex to comments about women’s bodies. Many times, Ailes tried to trap the women in quid pro quos threatening their jobs and careers. Some women were fired when they refused his advances. Fox executives either ignored reports or in one case told a victim that Ailes was a very powerful man and she should not fight it. Other Fox employees were accused of sexual harassment as well including then Fox News Washington bureau chief, Brian Wilson.


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