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Man accused of sexual harassment admits he had romantic interest in plaintiff

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STEPHEN Brown, in response to the sexual harassment allegations of Yuqin Gui, admitted that he had a romantic interest in her.

Brown said he and Gui maintained a friendly relationship and had social interactions outside of work, including social phone communications.

Brown said over time, the nature of their phone communications changed, and that he at times exhibited a romantic interest in Gui. He also said at times he requested to have a video conference with her.

Brown likewise admitted that he had communications of a sexual nature with Gui via text messaging and video conferencing at times, but he does not recall the specifics of all his phone communications with Gui, and he was not aware at all times of Gui’s state of mind or thinking regarding their relationship.

Brown said he approached Gui while at work and that they may have had physical contact such as accidental brushing of the hands.

He said he and Gui communicated mutual romantic interest to each other and that they mutually sent to each other communications and requests of a sexual nature.

But Brown denies all the other allegations of Gui in the lawsuit she filed in the District Court for the NMI.

Brown, represented by attorney Catherine J. Cachero, has asked the court to rule in his favor.

He is also demanding a jury trial.

Cachero said Gui’s lawsuit is time-barred as she failed to timely and properly exhaust all necessary and administrative, statutory and/or jurisdictional prerequisites before filing the lawsuit.

Gui named Brown, a pit manager employed by Imperial Pacific International, and IPI as defendants in her lawsuit.

She accused Brown of sexual harassment and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Gui sued IPI for negligent supervision and ratification.

IPI, represented by attorney Kelley Butcher, has denied any knowledge or inference that it has engaged in unlawful employment practices in the sexual harassment lawsuit of its former employee.

Gui, through attorney William M. Fitzgerald, filed the complaint in Oct. 2019.

Her lawsuit demands an award of damages against IPI for “failure to adequately screen and educate its supervisors to prevent sexual predators in a position of authority over female employees; [for failure to prevent them from] sexually abusing these employees; and for ratifying the abhorrent sexual harassment perpetrated upon Gui by Brown.”

Gui filed a similar lawsuit against Brown and IPI in Superior Court.

On Jan. 31, 2019, Associate Judge Wesley Bogdan denied IPI’s motion to dismiss the sexual harassment lawsuit filed by Gui.

The judge stated that “an employer who affirms or ratifies the wrongful conduct of its employee can be held liable for those wrongful acts.”

He also said, “The conduct of Brown and IPI may reasonably be found as sufficiently outrageous when it exceeds all bounds tolerated by a decent society.”

Gui sued Brown for intentional infliction of emotional distress, and for “unwanted and outrageous sexual advances that he made on the job during non-working hours over nearly a two-year period.”

Gui said she reported Brown’s actions to IPI’s human resource department, adding that IPI “ratified Brown’s actions by failing to investigate the matter and instead promoted him.”

November 2020 pssnewsletter

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