sexual assault and harassment | KUOW News and Information

sexual assault and harassment

Liz Garcia and her daughters on Halloween circa 2001 or 2002. The photo was taken in the apartment where Garcia was raped a few years later.
Courtesy of Liz Garcia

Liz Garcia was at home, checking out her hair in the bathroom mirror. She saw the door open and thought it was her mom or dad who just popped by.


Updated at 4:33 p.m. ET

A long-awaited grand jury investigation into clergy sexual abuse in Pennsylvania was released Tuesday in an interim redacted form. The report detailed decades of alleged misconduct and cover-ups in six of the state's eight Roman Catholic dioceses.

A poster attached to a telephone pole shows KUOW's original story on Tuesday, August 7, 2018, near the intersection of East Olive Way and Summit Avenue East in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

If you've walked around Capitol Hill lately, you might have seen large signs on telephone poles.

BOYCOTT LOST LAKE CAFE, they say - with a screenshot of an article about rape accusations against cafe owner Dave Meinert.

Elise Ballard poses for a portrait on Monday, August 6, 2018, at her home.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Six more women have come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct and assault against David Meinert, the Seattle nightlife entrepreneur.

These women contacted KUOW after reading an earlier story about Meinert, in which five other women had accused him of sexual misconduct, including sexual assault and rape.


Editor's Note: This story contains graphic language.

A former worker at a shelter for immigrant youths in Arizona has been accused of molesting eight teenage boys over a nearly yearlong period at the facility, according to federal records cited by nonprofit news site ProPublica.

Dave Meinert, owner of the 5 Point Cafe, supports Seattle's minimum wage hike but he has cut workers' hours.
KUOW Photo/David Hyde

The woman waited in her car for the police. She lived in Shoreline, but was told earlier that day she needed to be within Seattle city limits to file a sexual assault report against nightlife entrepreneur David Meinert.

In response to the #MeToo movement, the Washington state Senate will create a new human resources officer position to investigate complaints of harassment and other workplace misconduct, replacing a previous system of “facilitators” who served as a go-to resource for victims.

It took a long time for Andrea Valobra to realize something basic about her culture. She grew up knowing that women were expected to do certain duties that men didn’t have to do, like cleaning and cooking. But she didn’t understand the full extent of the machismo culture until she was in her teens.

Her first boyfriend raped her. Another hit and choked her.

She says her family explained it away.

"'He likes you, so he will rape you,'" she says. "'He loves you too much and that is why he has to control your phone.'"

Photo courtesy of the Joyful Heart Foundation/http://www.endthebacklog.org/

People who have been through a sexual assault often find that the first hospital they go to can’t help them. Many hospitals across the country don’t have evidence gathering kits or nurses trained to offer care and support.

That may soon change because of a bipartisan bill just introduced in Congress. 

A text message from state Rep. David Sawyer to a legislative lobbyist.
via (Tacoma) News Tribune

In the aftermath of a recent workplace conduct investigation at the state Capitol, the Democratic lawmaker at the heart of the inquiry and one of his accusers say the process has revealed flaws in how the Legislature handles complaints made against elected officials.

Congressional committees have been looking into the issue of sexual abuse in Olympic sports, with a particular focus on gymnastics. Now stories of alleged abuse are emerging in swimming. Last month, former Olympic athlete Ariana Kukors Smith sued her former coach, Sean Hutchinson, for allegedly abusing her. She also sued USA Swimming and the U.S. Olympic Committee because she says they failed to protect her.

Roxane Gay speaks at TEDWomen2015 - Momentum, May 27-29, 2015, Monterey Conference Center, Monterey, California, USA.
Flickr Photo/TED-Marla Aufmuth/TED (CC BY-NC 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/ybtHLA

Recent polling shows that almost half of American women say they’ve been sexually assaulted.

With that startling statistic in mind, KUOW presents this talk with author Roxane Gay, who compiled a collection of personal essays called, “Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture.” It addresses a misogynistic culture in which victims of violence are often discredited, mocked or shamed for their assault.

Washington House leaders are recommending that state Rep. David Sawyer, D-Tacoma, lose his chairmanship, but are not demanding he resign from the Legislature, following the findings of an external investigation into his conduct that could also result in an ethics probe.

Ericka Frodsham 2018
Mike Kane for KUOW

In 2015, photographer Mike Kane met Ericka, a sex worker on Aurora Avenue North in Seattle. Ericka was selling sex to support her heroin and meth addiction, and she was so weak she believed she could be dead within a year. She was estranged from her three young daughters and spent many nights on the street. 


Seattle Silence Breakers unveiled postcards and banners Thursday, May 31 2018, that read 'Mayor Durkan, Stop All harassment & Discrimination now!'
Kathleen Merrigan/Seattle Silence Breakers

Spurred on by a group of anti-harassment activists, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan says she will consider hiring an ombudsperson to handle discrimination and sexual harassment complaints by city staff.


Hundreds of survivors of domestic violence have come through the doors of neurologist Glynnis Zieman's Phoenix clinic in the past three years.

"The domestic violence patients are the next chapter of brain injury," she says.

Zieman begins every new patient visit with a simple question: "What are the symptoms you hope I can help you with?"

Carmen Best, interim police chief of Seattle
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Bill Radke reviews the news of the weekend, including the controversy over the three finalists chosen for Seattle's next police chief. Interim Police Chief Carmen Best is not among them.

The Swedish parliament has passed a bill that the government said, "states the obvious: if sex is not voluntary it is illegal."

The new legislation rules that sex without explicit mutual consent is rape. Previously, the law stated rape was committed only in instances where a victim was violently coerced or threatened into a sexual act.

Updated at 9:58 a.m. ET

Harvey Weinstein surrendered Friday to authorities at a police station in New York City, where the former Hollywood megaproducer has been charged with rape and sexual misconduct.

Weinstein arrived early in the morning at the New York Police Department's 1st Precinct in Lower Manhattan, ushered into the station by law enforcement officers as members of the media crowded behind metal barriers. He kept his gaze lowered amid a barrage of shouted questions.

Charlene Lieu
KUOW photo/Gil Aegerter

In the world of climbing, a climber without a partner is like a jockey without a horse.

Which is why, for women climbers, talking about sexual harassment can be dicey.


Commuters ride the E Line bus southbound on Aurora Avenue North, around 5:30 a.m., on Wednesday, April 11, 2018, in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

It was standing room only on the E Line RapidRide bus when the man seated next to Sonnet Stockmar started talking to her. "Take your top off," he said in front of the other bus riders.


Uber riders who experience sexual harassment or assault will now be able to take their claims to court, instead of being forced into private arbitration, the ride-hailing app announced Tuesday.

Uber, like many companies, has a clause in its user agreement — and its employment contract — that requires a person to waive his or her constitutional right to take Uber to court. Instead, disputes are taken before a private third-party arbitrator, who is paid by the company.

Two embattled Washington state representatives have filed to run for re-election—despite ongoing investigations into their conduct.

Democrat David Sawyer of Tacoma and Republican Matt Manweller of Ellensburg both registered their candidacies with the Secretary of State’s office on Monday, the first day of filing week.

At least 11 Nike executives have left the company this year over complaints of an uncomfortable workplace that discriminates against women.

The first to go was Nike's president, Trevor Edwards. The announcement came in mid-March that the company's No. 2 is retiring in August after more than 25 years. Edwards had been considered a favorite to succeed CEO Mark Parker.

The next day, it was announced that Jayme Martin, a vice president and general manager of global categories for Nike, was no longer with the company.

The Swedish Academy, responsible for handing out the annual Nobel Prize in literature, says it will not present the award this year as it struggles to contain the damage from a sex abuse scandal.

Finally, we no longer have to use the word "allegedly."

A court of law has delivered a verdict that the court of public opinion seemed to have already reached: Bill Cosby, 80, has been found guilty of three counts of aggravated indecent assault, resulting from allegations first made by Andrea Constand back in 2005.

The public eventually saw more than 60 women accuse "America's dad" of sexual misconduct and assault, with many alleging he surreptitiously drugged them first. This is the first of those stories to get a verdict.

Updated 3:55 p.m. ET

A woman who worked as an NBC correspondent says longtime network anchor Tom Brokaw made unwanted advances, including groping her and trying forcibly to kiss her, some two decades ago. Brokaw denied the claims in a email to his colleagues on Friday.

Linda Vester, who covered the Middle East and Africa for NBC and later joined Fox News, was in her 20s at the time she alleges Brokaw made the advances, Variety magazine reports.

Updated at 5:34 p.m. ET

Editor's note: This story contains a graphic description of sexual assault.

A Pennsylvania jury has found Bill Cosby guilty of three counts of aggravated indecent assault, setting up the comic legend for the possibility of years of imprisonment for drugging and sexually violating a woman 14 years ago on a couch in his Cheltenham, Pa., home.

An image from King County Metro Transit's anti-sexual harassment campaign, 'Report It to Stop It.'
Courtesy King County Metro Transit

Ridership is up on King Country Metro. Night bus services are up. And so are reports of sexual misconduct.

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