The San Francisco Chronicle paraphrases and quotes statements of the alleged victim-- whose name is not being release and who is no longer employed in the District Attorney's Office. In those statements, she contended that attorneys in the sex crimes unit enjoyed talk about sex toys and role-playing. As the Chronicle reports: "The sex crimes unit of the district attorney's office, she recalled, was a highly sexualized place where she, Gressett and others bantered about rough sex and directed gallows humor toward the crime victims they represented."
Later in the afternoon, I emailed District Attorney Robert Kochly, asking him about these allegations about inappropriate behavior among his colleagues. I also ask him what, if any actions, he has taken. He responded, and mentioned that, yes, one of the actions he took was to conduct sexual harassment and sensitivity training.
Here, first, is what I wrote to Kochly, and second, his response:
"Regardless of whether a crime can be proven against Mr. Gressett, I, and others, find it disturbing to learn about the supposed behavior of attorneys in your office, especially that vulnerable victims may have become the subjects of disparaging comments.Kochly's response:
Do you have any comment to this? Have you taken any action to address the allegations of these behaviors? It seems like this is something the public has a right to know. "
"While I would dispute the accuracy of the news article in question, insofar as it indicates that it was commonplace for attorneys to speak of sexual assault victims in a disparaging fashion, my office has conducted a very extensive administrative investigation into these matters.
We did, in fact, conduct mandatory sexual harassment/sensitivity training for all employees. We also took appropriate personnel actions as indicated by the results of our investigation. "
When Kochly mentions "appropriate personnel actions," he could be referring to the fact, as reported in today's Contra Costa Times, that Gressett, 52, was fired from his $140,000-a-year job. This information about his job status was reported by his attorneys today in court.
Gressett, a three-time candidate for district attorney, had been on paid administrative leave since his October arrest, and his termination was effective Friday.
"His attorneys said they were unsure what grounds were given for the firing but added that the 21-year prosecutor will appeal it," the Times reported. "District Attorney Robert Kochly said Monday that he could not comment on a personnel matter."