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Former sergeant sues Williamson sheriff's office citing repeated sexual harassment

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FRANKLIN, TN (WSMV) - One of the six women who accused a Williamson County Sheriff’s detention deputy of repeated sexual harassment is now suing, saying that she had no choice but to look for a new job.

Former Sgt. Jessica Malia is suing the department and Sgt. Chris Gray, saying after she and the other women came forward with their sexual harassment complaints about him, Gray kept his rank and position and continued to be her supervisor.

According to the lawsuit file in August, Malia was forced to, “try to look for other jobs because she felt it was completely inappropriate to continue to work under him.”

As News4 Investigates first reported, Malia and five other female employees detailed their accounts of sexual harassment.

“(Gray) called me a MILF multiple times. Mother I’d like to f***. He’s also made comments about my behind, things of that nature,” Malia told an investigator.

Malia also told an investigator that she once received a text from Gray about missing a training.

“And he sent me a text saying, ‘Sorry, I can’t make it. I’d love to see you in your yoga pants.’”

Questioned by the investigator, Gray denied Malia’s claims.

Malia wrote in her lawsuit that she was troubled that despite the six different accounts from women, the sheriff’s office only suspended Gray for five days without pay and required him to take sexual harassment training.

“… shocked at the fact that he was not removed from this position and in fact was placed as a direct supervisor over HER once again, which is extremely intimidating and uncomfortable for the Plaintiff,’ the lawsuit claims.

An attorney representing the department wrote that they couldn’t comment because of the pending litigation but that, “many of the allegations in the complaint will be vigorously contested.”

Malia’s attorney declined News4 Investigates’ request to interview her, saying that it was not his policy to have his clients comment on a pending lawsuit.

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Chief Investigative Reporter

Jeremy Finley is the chief investigator for News4 Investigates. His reporting has resulted in criminal convictions, legislative hearings before the U.S. Congress, and the payout of more than a million dollars to scam victims.

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