Sexual harassment lawsuit filed against Mahoning County deputy

YOUNGSTOWN

A woman filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against a Mahoning County deputy sheriff who officials say received discipline following an administrative investigation.

The lawsuit claims deputy sheriff Eric Harris continued to contact a woman he met while she was in jail on a drug offense. He later propositioned her for sex, sent her obscene photographs and exposed himself to her, according to the lawsuit.

Mahoning County Sheriff Jerry Greene said he was not aware of the lawsuit, but the woman filed an internal affairs complaint with his office and Harris was disciplined following an investigation.

“We investigated it and deemed that it was not criminal behavior, but it was inappropriate behavior that he had done while he was off duty,” Greene said. “We suspended him for 80 hours.”

The sheriff also notified the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which removed Harris from an FBI task force.

The lawsuit claims Harris violated the alleged victim’s constitutional rights; Harris’ actions constituted assault and battery and intentional infliction of emotional harm; and Mahoning County failed and refused to investigate Harris’ conduct or discipline Harris for his conduct which contradicts claims made by Greene.

The lawsuit seeks $1.5 million in damages.

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