Sex harassment lawsuit against Philly sheriff is not first accusation

Philadelphia Sheriff Jewell Williams is facing allegations from at least two women who claim he sexually harassed them at the office, and previously settled a similar complaint, newly released records reveal.

The two other incidents were reported by the Inquirer after the filing last week of a federal lawsuit by former employee Vanessa Bines, who claimed Williams and deputy sheriff, Paris Washington, sexually harassed her.

Williams, 60, has denied all the allegations.

Bines said she was harassed from 2013 to 2015, and accused Williams of calling her a “homewrecker” and “whore” after spurning his advances while she worked as a secretary at the sheriff’s office and entered into a relationship with his driver.

Bines’ lawsuit indicated she was already approved to sue after reporting the alleged harassment to an Equal Employment Opportunity commission. She said her relationship with Williams’ driver led him to monitor her conduct at work closely, contact her landlord to get her evicted and retaliate professionally by preventing her from getting other jobs. Other conduct allegedly included sexual jokes and unwanted inquiries about her genitalia, she alleges.

Now the Inquirer has revealed two other women previously made similar allegations against Williams.

Former sheriff’s office employee Marlaina Williams filed a complaint that Williams sexually harassed her from 2013 until June of this year when she quit the job after a panic attack she claims was related to the harassment.

She said that when she began dating another male employee at the office, Williams’ jealousy was sparked, the complaint claims, and he began making comments like, “I’m jealous that he gets to go home with you and not me” and “I’m gonna transfer your boyfriend and put him on the overnight shift so y’all can’t spend any time together,” the Inquirer reported.

Another woman, Karan M. Rogers, who worked as an aide with Williams when he was a state representative for the 197th district in North Philly, in 2011 settled a lawsuit over alleged conduct by Williams that drove her to quit as well.

Rogers said Williams mocked her for being Christian, smelled her hair and asked other coworkers to do the same, and frequently cornered and tried to kiss her.

Rogers is not commenting on her suit.

Williams is currently on his second term as sheriff, having been elected in 2011 and reelected in 2015.

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