A camera operator on the hit crime procedural "Criminal Minds" has filed a lawsuit alleging that the show's director of photography sexually assaulted him hundreds of times between 2011 and 2019. The director of photography, California-based ABC Studios and New York-based CBS Corporation and Entertainment Partners are named as defendants in the lawsuit. Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. is also listed as a defendant despite having no connection to the long-running show. The litigation was filed on July 25 in Los Angeles.
The plaintiff claims that the director of photography touched him in a sexually suggestive way between two and three times per week during his eight years working on the show. He also alleges that the director of photography screamed at him on several occasions and threatened to have him fired. He is seeking a jury trial and unspecified damages for sexual harassment, discrimination, assault, emotional duress and retaliation.
In the lawsuit, the plaintiff says that other workers on the show were harassed and discriminated against. These employees were allegedly terminated unfairly when they complained about the way they were treated. CBS and ABC representatives declined to comment when questioned about the lawsuit. "Criminal Minds" premiered in 2005, and its 15th and final season is scheduled to begin airing in the fall.
Employers hoping to avoid embarrassment often choose to settle lawsuits such as this one at the negotiating table when the plaintiffs involved have evidence to back up their allegations. Attorneys with experience in this area may help workers who have been harassed or discriminated against to gather the kind of evidence that encourages employers to seek a settlement. Compelling evidence might include detailed accounts of the incidents in question with dates and the names of any others present and copies of lewd emails or other business communications.