Revenge porn lawsuit claims Vegas firefighters circulated video of coworker

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Posted: Mar. 8, 2019 10:24 AM

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    Las Vegas (KTNV) -- A new federal lawsuit is alleging multiple firefighters circulated a sexual video of a female coworker and Las Vegas Fire and Rescue command staff bungled the investigation and failed to stop the spread of a hostile work environment.

The claims are laid out in a 34-page complaint which was filed in United States District Court on Tuesday.

The lawsuit stems from an investigation conducted by the City of Las Vegas and Las Vegas Fire and Rescue which 13 Investigates reported in October 2018.

The threat of litigation and the filing of the civil lawsuit was stalled by the longest, partial U.S. government shutdown in history, also reported by 13 Investigates in January.

According to court documents, the unnamed female plaintiff and a Henderson firefighter began to date in the summer of 2017 but less than 6 months later the couple split up.

The lawsuit claims the couple broke up due to the boyfriend's obsessive and controlling behavior.

In June 2018, the female firefighter received a phone call from a concerned co-worker in which she learned a sex video she had sent to her former Henderson firefighter boyfriend while they were dating was circulating around Henderson Fire Department personnel during work hours and on Henderson Fire Department property, according to the complaint.

When the tipster was pressed for details, the lawsuit claims he had heard "a group of guys talking about it" and confirmed it was a video of the female firefighter doing sexual things with herself.

The female fighter reported the information to her captain less than an hour later, according to the lawsuit.

The complaint states, minutes later, her captain began making phone calls to the tipster and to command staff at Las Vegas Fire and Rescue's Fire Station 1 in downtown Las Vegas.

The female firefighter learned through her captain that the video was topic of conversation during a LVFR rookie training event on fire department property on June 4, 2018, according to the court document.

The lawsuit claims it was only then command staff began taking the matter seriously and moved forward from an "information gathering" phase to an "investigation state."

On June 27, 2018, the female firefighter was given access to the LVFR rookie event training roster and identified a possible associate of her ex-boyfriend.

The next day, command staff said they had interviewed the ex-boyfriend's associate but they appeared to be keeping the interaction informal and under the radar in order to minimize any impact to his reputation, the complaint alleges.

During the same interview, the lawsuit claims the associate confessed to knowing about the video and had knowledge of who had the video including who was passing it around LVFR employees.

The command staff told the female firefighter the information would be passed up to LVFR administration, according to documents.

Weeks went by until July 14, 2018, when the female firefighter took a leave of absence from the fire department.

When she returned to work on July 31, 2018, the female firefighter claims she was the subject of inappropriate sexual comments by a LVFR captain and it appeared the situation was escalating.

The female firefighter had an additional meeting with command staff soon after which revealed some individuals had been interviewed and disciplined but their names and the extent of discipline were not releasable.

During the same meeting, the lawsuit claims a LVFR captain told the female firefighter, "You have to realize guys are perverts and you're a hot chick and if there's a naked video, they're going to want to watch it."

At the meeting's conclusion, the lawsuit alleges the same LVFR captain claimed all investigative efforts were exhausted and it would just be a matter of time before the situation would blow over adding "this stuff happens all the time."

After an Aug 4, 2018, incident during which the female firefighters sunroof was shot out while she was at work, she went to human resources fearing the incident was connected to the on-going revenge porn investigation.

On Sept. 10, 2018, the female firefighter learned from human resources that 14 people had been interviewed for watching the video and would be disciplined according to the degree of what they did wrong, according to documents.

The human resources report was then openly discussed during a captains training, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit alleges 11 causes for legal action, including Nevada's revenge porn statute, sexual harassment, retaliation, and negligent supervision.

The lawsuit seeks $25,000 in back pay and benefits and damages to be determined at trial.

13 Action News reached out to the City of Las Vegas which declined to comment citing a long-standing practice of not commenting on pending litigation.

A request for comment from the City of Henderson was not returned.

Please note: This content carries a strict local market embargo. If you share the same market as the contributor of this article, you may not use it on any platform.

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