Oct 27, 2016 10:34 AM

Ex-New Boston police officer claims supervisor had 'rapability' scale in lawsuit

NH1.com

NEW BOSTON — A former New Boston police officer has filed a lawsuit against the town of New Boston saying she was sexually harassed and illegally terminated.

In the lawsuit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court, Alexandra Drake, of Nashua, accused her superiors of making inappropriate comments and making her fear for her job before she said they eventually ruined her reputation.

Drake accused her partner and senior adviser Lt. Michael Masella of making comments about wanting to take female drivers that they pulled over out of their cars and "rape" them rather than issuing a citation. The lawsuit also states that Masella developed a "rapability" scale for female drivers and would test Drake about whether a particular driver was "rapable." Drake said the comments came during her training with Masella.

Drake joined the New Boston Police Department in June 2013. She said the constant sexual harassment continued over the course of two years. Other incidents mentioned in the lawsuit include accusations that Masella made negative comments about female employees and female motorists and that Drake feared the "slightest slip could make her a target of severe harassment, termination of employment or even rape."

The suit also accuses Masella of forcing Drake to alter a DUI report in September of 2014. Drake said she did it because she was afraid of what he would do to her.

According the the lawsuit, Drake told Police Chief James Brace about the alleged harassment on April 17, 2015, but Drake said Brace told her to follow the chain of command, which meant she would have to bring up the issues with Masella.

A week later, then-Sgt. Richard Widener filed a complaint about Masella ordering Drake to change the DUI report and Masella’s alleged sexual harassment of Drake.

Within days of that report being filed, Drake said she was put under review for the altered DUI report, and Brace recommended to selectmen that Widener be suspended or demoted. Widener ultimately resigned.

Drake was eventually terminated from the police department in October of 2015. In the lawsuit, she stated that she has been unable to obtain another job in law enforcement.

The New Boston Police Department "strongly denies all accusations," Brace told NH1 News on Thursday. He referred all other questions to the town attorney. NH1 News left a message for the attorney Thursday morning, but he had not yet returned that call.

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