HOUSTON - Harris County Precinct 1 Constable Alan Rosen and a couple of his high ranking deputies have been named in a sexual harassment lawsuit by female deputies who were part of Precinct 1’s high profile Human Trafficking unit.
"These astoundingly courageous women have been through astounding horrors," says Attorney Cordt Akers.
A lawsuit filed by four current and former Harris County Precinct 1 Constable’s Office employees claims female deputies who worked undercover to help human trafficking victims, actually ended up victimized by their male superiors.
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"The leadership gave in to their own prurient desires, turning the female deputies they commanded into the sex exploitation victims they were arguably trying to save," adds Attorney Brock Akers.
According to the women, Assistant Chief Chris Gore came up with a sting called operation "Bachelor Party" taking place in hotel rooms to arrest human traffickers but the lawsuit says, "Gore would be wearing only boxer shorts, fully aroused, drunk, kissing and licking their (the deputies) bodies and giddy after every sting".
"They were not prepared (for that). They were given a brief heads up and thrown into a room that was nothing more than a party," says Attorney Bill Ogden.
"Gore selected who he wanted to work with in these cases, mostly young, Latina deputies with little to no trafficking experience and no applicable undercover training experience," Atty. Cordt Akers explains.
The attorneys say this was nothing more than partying in the name of police work with, "at least some male deputies being too drunk to drive home after the operations".
They say it became "routine at the beginning of every single operation" for Gore to remove one deputy's bra "for no real reason" leaving her naked body exposed.
One female deputy says she would be harassed "at the station between stings from her male superiors including Chief Gore and Lt. Shane Rigdon commenting on how her body looked naked".
"As these operations went on, the focus went more on that and less on the victims they were trying to save. Anyone who complained was either ignored or rebuffed, ridiculed and in some cases outright fired," says Atty. Cordt Akers.
"Our voices haven’t been heard in so long and it’s nice to be heard. As scared as we are and we’ve already gotten phone calls about our careers being ruined in retaliation," says Human Trafficking Advocate Jacquelyn Aloutto.
"Jacquelyn Aloutto reported this conduct to the Constable, reported this conduct to her commanding officer and was ignored. (She) reported this conduct to the District Attorney’s Office and was told we don’t want to start an investigation," says Cordt Akers.,
Aloutto says a day after reporting it to Precinct 1 Internal Affairs in December 2020, she was fired.
Also, one female deputy says she was sent undercover into a massage parlor where a victim was previously raped and she too was sexually assaulted.
"My clients won’t live in silence. The won’t live in fear and they damn sure will not live in shame," says Ogden.
The deputies say their work was no longer about saving trafficking victims but themselves "and to not be able to do their job because you’re being exploited and oppressed at your workplace can never happen again," says Aloutto.
The Harris County DA's Office released the following statement, "Anytime we receive an allegation from an officer accusing a fellow officer of impropriety, we connect them with appropriate investigative entities. We are not the investigative agency for such allegations, be them administrative, civil or criminal. In this matter, our Sex Crimes Division quickly asked Constable Pct. 1 Internal Affairs to investigate whether there was evidence of a crime and Ms. Aluotto has represented she contacted the Texas Rangers. Nothing has been presented to prosecutors by either agency."
Constable Alan Rosen says, "When we were made aware of a concern by a third party several months ago, I proactively instructed our Internal Affairs Division to conduct an investigation. We did this even though no one made a formal complaint. This is consistent with our ongoing commitment to protecting victims and our personnel. My sensitivity toward victims remains our highest priority. To this day, not one of these plaintiffs has ever made a formal complaint. Each employee interviewed was given the opportunity, in a safe environment, to express any concerns. Their own interview statements contradict many of the allegations in the lawsuit.
Upon conclusion of our internal investigation, our Administrative Disciplinary Committee found no violations of law or policy. When we began our proactive internal investigation, we immediately transferred leadership of the Human Trafficking Unit to another supervisor who still maintains oversight of that unit today.
VICTIM’S VOICES MATTER. I have a zero-tolerance stance against sexual assault and sexual harassment and would never allow a hostile work environment as alleged.
This lawsuit is an effort to impugn the good reputation of the hard-working men and women of the Precinct One Constable’s Office. I believe our system of due process works and that justice and truth will prevail as facts in this case come to light."
FOX 26 reached back out to the lawyers representing the three women in the federal lawsuit following Rosen's statement.
In a statement released Monday evening they say,
"It is likewise predictable that his internal operation would give a clean bill of health to this operation. We stand by the allegations in the petition, and I think they speak for themselves," said Brock Akers of The Akers Firm.