U.S. Magistrate Judge James P. O’Hara for United States District Court in the District of Kansas signed a court order in December affirming that a plaintiff could maintain public anonymity in a lawsuit filed against the City of Gardner.
The lawsuit alleges that in the summer of 2018, the plaintiff, then  16, was harassed by a supervisor, and that in June 2018, she was raped by the supervisor while working as a seasonal employee for the City of Gardner. Court documents assert that the plaintiff has experienced severe emotional distress.
Court documents stated that the need for anonymity outweighed public interest in open court records.
The suit identifies the plaintiffs, a minor and her father, only with initials. The lawsuit alleges sex discrimination, Fourteenth Amendment violations, and denial of due process by failing to respond to or prevent discrimination and harassment.
The minor was an employee with the city’s park department.
According to the suit, about July 15, 2018 the plaintiff reported sexual assaults and harassment to the Gardner Police Department.
The GPD detective then relayed allegations of sexual harassment and assault to the city, and the girl was placed on administrative leave.
The girl, and father, requested information regarding disciplinary action taken against her supervisor, but the city refused to provide information, the suit alleges.
A letter from the EEOC regarding the plaintiff’s complaint grants the minor the right to file a civil suit.
According to the suit, the plaintiff believed that Gardner officials had previous knowledge that the supervisor had sexually assaulted and/or harassed other girls, before the rape occurred.
The suit also alleges the supervisor and another city supervisor for the baseball fields would regularly engage in inappropriate discussions of a sexual nature.
Plaintiff’s suit says the minor was “sexually harassed and assaulted, at least in part, because the City of Gardner, Kansas, failed to take appropriate actions and failed to abide by appropriate policies, to ensure that (plaintiff) and others were safe from sexual abuse and sexual harassment.”
According to the suit, on at least four separate occasions in May and June 2018, the minor was sexually assaulted at isolated city-owned locations. The girl reported she was raped on top of her car June 28, 2018.
The plaintiff also alleges other female employees were harassed by the same supervisor, and that the city had knowledge of his behavior before the June assault.