Sexual Assault

TopDog Law Personal Injury Lawyers | Sexual Assault in the Workplace

Sexual harassment in the workplace is an unfortunate and common, occurrence. Because it occurs at work, the fear of losing your job or promotion may prevent you from reporting it. But despite what you may believe, there is something you can do about it without negative results.

The first step is to report the incident to upper management and human resources. HR departments are required to investigate sexual harassment claims because harassment is against federal law.

Even though sexual assault in the workplace may be hard to re-live, it is heavily encouraged for the victim to write down the details of the incident. Make sure to record dates, times, everyone involved, witnesses, and location. Additionally, keep records of conversations if possible. Having everything on record will only benefit you later on, especially if the case goes to court. 

The type of workplace harassment can vary from verbal abuse to physical abuse. Regardless of what type the victim may encounter, it is very important to end it immediately. If you do not want to confront the assaulter, you can report it.

In the case that the victim works for a union, they may seek assistance from their shop steward. If that does not work, there is the option to file through the union to see if a formal process can be applied. If the victim does not work for a union, they can contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or their state’s fair employment agency.

Employees are always protected from sexual harassment in the workplace. A lawyer will be able to help if the victim is unable to successfully go through HR, is fearful of losing their job, or does not understand the process.

TopDog Law Personal Injury Lawyers and its lawyers are trained to help if you need a lawyer. We want to help you get compensation for your pain and suffering. Contact TopDog Law Personal Injury Lawyers today at 800-215-7211 or send us a message for a free consultation.

TopDog Law Personal Injury Lawyers | Sexual Assault Case Dropped Against Former Philly Police Inspector

In October 2019, former Philadelphia police inspector, Carl W. Holmes Jr. was charged with sexual assault of three female officers. In March 2021, the District Attorney’s Office withdrew the second case, leaving only one before the court.

The withdrawn case involved the sexual assault charged alleged by Christa Hayburn. Gregory Pagano, Holmes’s attorney, said Hayburn’s credibility was questionable. In a Zoom court hearing, Hayburn stated she did not agree with the decision to withdraw her case, and that she was a “willing participant throughout… even though it has been re-traumatizing…”

In hopes to dismiss the case that was filed in September 2020, Pagano argued that Holmes has been the victim of a “witch hunt” and “the allegations in the case have received extensive local press… beginning approximately ten years ago.”1

In March 2020, the case involving former officer Elisa Diaz was withdrawn after she failed to appear in court. They were dismissed by Judge Karen Simmons but refiled the next month by the District Attorney’s Office.

Holmes, a 55-year-old father of two, was accused by the grand jury of sexually assaulting the police officers in 2006-2007. According to the jury, he kissed them, fondled their breasts, and digitally penetrated their vaginas. The allegations are years old and there have been details given by the officers.

The last case is that of Michele Vandegrift. In 2004, Vandegrift joined the police department at the age of 22. In 2006, she noticed that Holmes was acting oddly towards her and making inappropriate comments. During an overnight shift in 2007, Holmes asked Vandegrift to come to his office. According to Vandegrift, he made small talk then made comments on her body, followed by physical contact.

Vandergrift filed a complaint in 2014 stating there had been multiple years of sexual harassment from her colleagues; a lawsuit that Vandergrift filed against the city over Holmes settled for $1.25 million in 2017. 

If you or someone you know has been through sexual assault, contact TopDog Law Personal Injury Lawyers immediately. Our sexual assault lawyers are trained to get you the best compensation possible for your pain and suffering. Call us at 800-215-7211 or send us a message to get a free consultation.

1Second case dropped against a former Philly police inspector accused of sexual assault (

TopDog Law Personal Injury Lawyers | Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health Center Sued For Sexual Assault

Thirteen former Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health Center attendees are filing a lawsuit against the center. The lawsuit states that between 2004 and 2014 they were assaulted by staff. The youngest victim was only eight years old.

Philadelphia law groups Saltz, Mongeluzzi, and Bendesky, along with TopDog Law Personal Injury Lawyers, are the two firms representing complainants in the Devereux lawsuit, Jane Doe (X.X.) vs. Devereux Foundation, Inc. This lawsuit is believed to be the largest survivor-group complaint filed against Devereux to date. Kristen Feden of Saltz, Mongeluzzi, and Bendesky commented “… they were sexually abused by the very people who were supposed to protect them.” Feden also stated that Devereux was aware of the abuse and did nothing to prevent it.

The President of Devereux, Carl Clark, apologized for the abuse and said that all facilities will remain open while undergoing these investigations. Devereux leaders claim that safety measures have improved and safeguards have been put in place to prevent future abuse. Despite those claims since 2018, there have been four staff members charged with sexual abuse of more than ten children.

We are aware of the long-term effects that a place like Devereux leaves on someone, and we want to help. TopDog Law Personal Injury Lawyers is taking claims from former Devereux attendees. If you or someone you know has suffered from Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health Center, contact us immediately. Call us at 800-215-7211 or send us a message to speak with someone and get a free consultation.

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