Two female deputy district attorneys with the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office have brought a lawsuit against a veteran prosecutor, accusing the supervising lawyer of a pattern of sexual harassment both in and out of the workplace.
According to NBC Los Angeles, plaintiffs Beth Silverman and Tannaz Mokayef claim that prosecutor Gary Hearnsberger had "subjected them to unwanted touching and lewd remarks and behavior" during his tenure as the head of the county's Major Crimes Division, which oversees high-profile trial cases. The complaint also alleges that Hearnsberger displayed favoritism toward female attorneys — including better case assignments or promotions — in exchange for sexual favors.
In the lawsuit, Silverman describes explicit gestures made to her by Hearnsberger, such as intentionally sitting close to her on an office couch or walking behind her to touch her backside. Mokayef, who joined the Major Crimes Division just last year, alleges that she was similarly touched by the prosecutor. When she rejected those advances, he lashed out verbally toward her in the office and reassigned her to less desirable cases.
Although he has not yet read the official lawsuit, Hearnsberger categorically denied the allegations.
"It makes sense that it was filed on April Fools' Day. I don't conduct business that way," Hearnsberger, who has worked as an L.A. County attorney for 34 years, tells NBC News. "You can ask anyone that's worked for me. It's very disappointing that lawyers who [you would] expect to be of the highest caliber professional prosecutors would make such claims. It's total retaliation and completely untrue."
The suit is seeking an unspecified amount of damages from both Hearnsberger and Los Angeles County.
If you've suffered sexual harassment in the workplace and are considering legal action, schedule an appointment with The Meyers Law Firm first. Our expert attorneys can assess your case and fight for the damages you deserve.