A former Bryan County Sheriff’s Department employee has filed a sexual harassment suit accusing the sheriff and chief jailer of sexual harassment and maintaining a hostile work environment.
Crystal Melton, in her federal case, claims that for six years Capt. Larry Jacobs made repeated and unwanted sexual advances, comments and touches and retaliated against Melton’s rejections by discriminating against her and bypassing her on promotions.
The suit, which was filed May 10 in the U.S. Southern District Court of Georgia in Savannah, also names Bryan County Sheriff Clyde Smith as a defendant in his capacity as the department’s senior official who took no action in Melton’s repeated complaints against Jacobs.
Smith said Wednesday that while he’d heard about the claims, he knew few details of the law suit.
“We have not been served,” he said. “I don’t know what the deal with the law suit is.”
Smith said Melton had made complaints to him of sexual harassment.
“She’s made complaints before,” he said. “She made an (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) complaint, but that was dismissed. It’s been a year or so back, but it was dismissed.”
According to the law suit, Jacobs made sexually charged comments on a weekly, and eventually daily, basis.
“Defendant Jacobs would ask if he left his boots under her bed and inform her that he was watching her ‘sexy walk.’ He would also grunt as he eyed her up and down,” the complaint reads.
In the suit, Melton claims that she was never promoted to the rank of sergeant even though she was “performing a sergeant’s job for the lowest pay of a lower rank.”
Read more in the June 8 edition of the News.