NBC News investigated allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination in big-city law enforcement and found a captain of the New York Police Department had been sued twice for allegedly abusing female officers.
A total of four cases of sexual harassment and gender discrimination against Capt. Salvatore Marchese have been filed against him since 2013. According to documents, a 2013 case involving an officer who claimed he forced her to perform oral sex was settled for $100,000. Also, it is alleged that he forced a pregnant officer to work overnight shifts and harassed her in August 2022.
In two new lawsuits filed last month against Marchese and the city, it is alleged that Marchese physically and verbally abused women who were pregnant or caring for children. Marchese denied any wrongdoing in response to all the suits, including the one that was settled without admission of wrongdoing.
Records show that Marchese was appointed to run stationhouses in Manhattan and the Bronx by the New York Police Department in 2018.
There is a pattern of sexual harassment and gender discrimination against female officers in the NYPD and some of the nation's largest law enforcement agencies, according to an NBC News investigation published in December.
After reviewing over 60 lawsuits settled or won at trial since 2017, examining thousands of pages of internal police documents, and interviewing female officers of all ranks, researchers found that women who speak out often lose their careers while men do not.
According to an NBC News review, 27 out of the 87 NYPD officers against whom court papers accuse them of abuse have since been promoted, including Marchese.
“It’s really outlandish how they keep letting this man go from command to command, treating people this way,” said former Lt. Ebony Huntley, the plaintiff in one of the two lawsuits. Marchese's abuse forced the Black female lieutenant to retire early, a rarity in the NYPD. “Shame on this department for allowing that to happen,” Huntley said.
Salvatore Marchese, and the culture of sexism and abuse found in the New York Police Department, exemplify how typical it is for law enforcement to foster and enable harassment and gender-based discrimination, even against fellow officers.
Source: NBC News