The first female police officer to serve in a rural town in has claimed she was pressured to perform oral sex and make out with her male colleagues during a four year campaign of sexual harassment.
Teresa Williams, 35, claims she was repeatedly harassed and assaulted by her male colleagues at the police department in Iron Mountain, Michigan, for four and a half years until she was forced to resign.
Williams was forced to kissed her direct supervisor Joseph Dumais, the director of police services, at a bar as part of an initiation ritual just weeks after she was hired in October 2017, according to a federal lawsuit filed against three officers.
When she was later pressured into taking another Fireball shot, Dumais ‘put his hand between Williams’ legs and grabbed her genitals’, the lawsuit, seen by MailOnline, says.
In a separate incident, Williams claims her former patrol partner, Garth Budek, forced himself on her after she drove him home from a bar and made her touch his genitals over his pants before groping her and kissing her against her wishes.
Teresa Williams, 35, has claimed she was pressured to perform oral sex and make out with her male colleagues at the police department in Iron Mountain, deneme bonusu Michigan, during a four year campaign of sexual harassment
Teresa Williams, 35, (bottom left) claims she was repeatedly harassed and assaulted by her male colleagues at the police department in Iron Mountain, Michigan, for four and a half years until she was forced to resign. She has filed a federal lawsuit against three officers – Joseph Dumais (top left), Garth Budek (bottom right) and Ed Mattson (top center)
Some time later, Budek, who is married, invited Williams to watch a movie with himself and his wife – Williams said she felt more comfortable because Budek’s wife was present.
However, his wife excused herself and Budek grabbed Williams’ hand and took her downstairs where he pressured her to perform oral sex on him, the lawsuit says.Afterwards, Budek said Williams could never tell anyone, the lawsuit adds.
On the night that Dumais had forced Williams to kiss him and sexually assault him, the supervisor and Budek had bet on who could have sex with her first, the suit says.
Also named as a defendant in the lawsuit is Ed Mattson, the director of police and fire services, as well as the city and the police department, for not acting on William’s allegations.None of the three officers named in the suit have faced disciplinary action.
‘I want somebody to step in and take action – like hold these people accountable, Williams told NBC News. ‘Just because you wear a badge and you’re a cop, it doesn’t mean you get to treat people however you want and break the law and do whatever you want.’
She added: ‘I want, especially the community of Iron Mountain, to know that I’m doing this because they have the right to know… what and who it is they have that is supposed to be protecting and serving them.’
Williams’ attorney, Jack Schulz, said he believes that because Iron Mountain is such a rural community, the police force does not face the same checks and balances as larger forces.
He told MailOnline: This was her dream job in her hometown. It is appalling how these high level officers have acted with such impunity and demonstrates the courage it took for Teresa to finally speak out.
‘It is my hope that her strength encourages others who feel they are in a hopeless situation to take a stand. It is my hope that congress and the Michigan legislature take a serious look into the insufficiencies in existing law which allow for abusers to walk free.
‘Teresa’s case demonstrates why it is so difficult for victims to come forward in the existing limited time constraints to seek action.’
In the lawsuit, Williams alleges that Dumais pressured her into doing a Fireball shot and kissing him at a bar as part of an initiation ritual just weeks after she was hired in October 2017.
Williams claims she was repeatedly harassed and assaulted by her male colleagues at the police department in Iron Mountain, Michigan (file image)
‘Plaintiff refused and said the whole thing was made up.Dumais responded that it was required and that everyone had to do it as protocol. To allegedly demonstrate, Dumais took an initial shot along with a former county dispatcher (male) then kissed him,’ the suit says.
‘Ultimately, Plaintiff buckled to the pressure and took the ‘IMPD shot’ with Dumais who, as a result, kissed Plaintiff and stated that she was now ‘officially part of IMPD’,’ the suit added.
Later that night, Dumais allegedly pressured Williams into taking another shot with him – despite her repeatedly saying she didn’t want to – before he put his hand between her legs and ‘grabbed her genitals’.
In October 2020, Williams was asked to meet Dumais in his office – he refused to allow her to have someone present and closed the door of the room.Before she left the room, he allegedly shouted he was ‘sick and tired of hearing her pity story’.
Williams was suspended multiple times and accused of unprofessionalism by not responded to a radio in a call about a hit-and-run. The lawsuit says this would not have resulted in disciplinary action if her male colleagues had done the same.
‘I would love to be able to go back and be a police officer.I really would. My job meant everything to me,’ Williams, who was the second girl who played football at her Wisconsin high school (pictured), said. ‘Unfortunately, I believe, in our small towns, nobody would hire me back.’
In March 2022, Williams, who was still being harassed by her colleagues, met with Mattson and Dumais – the department’s top two supervisors – to discuss officers’ talking about her outside of work and the harassment against her, the lawsuit says.
The suit said: ‘Mattson stated that Budek was ‘struggling emotionally’ and wanted to ‘come clean to his wife.
‘Mattson continued that he understood the work related incidents to be ‘fully clothed touching’ and that he ‘didn’t care about anything that happened elsewhere’.
‘Mattson continued that he was discussing this with her to help Budek (as opposed to addressing the sexual harassment and assault of an officer on a subordinate at all).’
Following the meeting, Williams was told she would be fired if she did resign, the suit said.She resigned in April last year.
‘I would love to be able to go back and be a police officer. I really would. My job meant everything to me,’ Williams, who was the second girl who played football at her Wisconsin high school, said. ‘Unfortunately, I believe, in our small towns, nobody would hire me back.’
Gregory Grant, an attorney who represents the defendants, said: ‘I am unable to provide any comment at this time regarding specific allegations or details as the case is pending.
‘There are two sides to every story and my clients are looking forward to presenting the facts in court.With this said, the City of Iron Mountain has always been committed to creating a safe and respectful work environment for all of its employees.’