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A Latina Firefighter in Boston Says the Department Retaliated Against Her When She Reported That She Was Sexually Assaulted by a Colleague

Credit: Screenshot via CBS/WBZ

A former female firefighter was just given a settlement of $3.2 million by the city of Boston for what she characterized as a culture of sexual harassment, shaming, and silencing. Nathalie Fontanez says she was retaliated against by the Boston Fire Department for reporting a sexual assault she experienced at the hands of a colleague.

In 2018, Fontanez says she was sexually assaulted by fellow firefighter David Sanchez.

It all began when Fontanez joined the Boston Fire Department in 2011. The department was looking to hire fluent Spanish speakers, and Fontanez considered the opportunity a “golden ticket”. It was an opportunity for her, a single mom, to provide for her daughter without the assistance of welfare. And, she could prove to her daughter that women can do anything.

But Fontanez’s dream soon turned into a nightmare. After joining the department, she faced an inordinate amount of hazing and harassment because she was a woman and a Latina.

“I’m not a veteran. I’m not a man. I’m a Latin woman. If there was a totem pole, I was at the very bottom,” she explained. “I felt that I had to tolerate anything that came my way, because I was lucky to be there,” she said.

Per Fontanez, the incidents escalated until the day in question when she was assaulted at the firehouse by Sanchez.

After reporting the incident to her superiors, she says that her colleagues turned on her.

In a recent press conference, Fontanez explained the experience in more detail. “Incidents began to escalate and I was then shamed and labeled a trouble-maker,” she said. “The guys that I once relied on for my life’s safety now turned against me.”

While Sanchez was convicted of assault and battery and sentenced to two years of probation, Fontanez says that she was harassed and isolated by her station mates. According to her, the retaliation also included being denied a promotion and being ignored at social events.

“I was often reminded by some of my colleagues that I had taken a job from a man who could have been providing for his family, even though I was a single parent providing for mine,” she said.

Last month, the city settled with Fontanez for $3.2 million. But Fontanez says it’s not about the money–it’s about changing the toxic culture of firehouses. 

“I’m breaking my silence because I believe that women firefighters deserve equal treatment in the Boston Fire Department,” Fontanez said during the news conference. “However, at this point that is the dream, but not the reality, for many women firefighters. The department is overdue for change, and the time for change is now.”

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Women Are Talking About The First Time They Experienced Sexual Harassment And We Should All Be Disgusted

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Women Are Talking About The First Time They Experienced Sexual Harassment And We Should All Be Disgusted

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There’s no doubt that sexual harassment can have quite an impact on a victim.

In 2014, a research study surveyed 17,335 female victims of sexual assault who said in the most serious experiences of sexual assault that they had endured many felt emotions such as “anger, annoyance, and embarrassment.” A terrible thought considering that the people who inflict these feelings often walk away from the experience without so much as a second thought.

Women on Reddit have spoken about these experiences that have affected them for decades.

Here they are below.

“I was 7 when some weird-ass guy wanted me to show him the girl’s changing room at the swimming pool. Luckily I had the common sense to go looking for my teacher. I was 11 when the ‘normal’ harassment started with guys twice to thrice my age tried to hit me up and go out with me. The very first guy I remember trying to chat me up in the bus tried to convince me to tell him I was 18, when it finally sank in that I wasn’t lying when I said I was 11, he had the graciousness to go completely white in his face and flee the bus at the next stop. I was 13 when a guy at the bus stop tried to convince me to go on a love-week-end to Paris with him. He was easily 40.” –BerriesAndMe

“Why are there so many perverted men out there??? Every single one of my friends has these crazy stories starting from like eight years old.”- kisscuddle

“13 or 14. Guy in his early 20’s comes to me, asks if I’m a virgin because he only dates virgins. Me being a shy timid person just stared at him and couldn’t form any reply. Just froze on the spot.” –Countess_Yiffy

“All these stories start when girls turn 12-14, and that is so sad.

Most of us didn’t feel “sexy” at this age. What is more, some girls don’t know what is “sexy” is. More, 12 years old girls feel shy about their bodies: their breasts start growing (to be honest, it’s painful), and the first period can be a shock. It’s a very delicate and susceptible part of a women’s life.

And these jerks think they have privilege says how attractive we are —making us feel that we are dirty and it’s our fault. Hate it.” –Jan_Levinsson

“I was 5. Was standing on jungle gym on the playground And an older boy came up to me and grabbed my spandex and underwear and stretched out my underwear and looked at my privates. I did not know how to use my voice or stand up for myself. I climbed off the jungle gym and sat under it and cried. I remember feeling so embarrassed and violated. I never told anyone. Just remembered that and will probably talk to my therapist about it.” –siennasolo

“I was 12, at a BBQ my parents were having. I was in a bathing suit because we had a pool. A friend of a friend of my dads said he’d like to leave his wife there and take me home instead. I didn’t say anything because I was so ashamed. I put clothes on and stayed in my room the rest of the party – even though an adult overheard him and he was forced to leave.” – sassylittlespoon

“I remember when I was 9 or 10 I went to the beach with a new two-piece swimsuit that I was super happy to wear because it had sparkles and made me look like a mermaid. It was one of those where the bottom part had a skirt attached so I liked to twirl to see the skirt twirl. Some dude went “Do that again, sweetheart!” and then whistles and said something about “legs for days” I remember being really embarrassed and ashamed and didn’t want to tell anyone because my parents would make it a big deal, and then it would be my fault for ruining the beach day for my brothers.

I didn’t wear the swimsuit in public ever again.” –gentlybeepingheart

“At 12, playing in the pool. A man probably in his 40s/50s kept staring at me intensely and made a comment like, “Wow, look at how hot that girl is!” My mom overheard and immediately said, “That’s my daughter and she’s fucking 12, what is wrong with you?!” I don’t remember what happened next. But I’ll never forget the way that man looked at me, and how my stomach dropped to my feet and my face burned. I felt so ashamed.” –offendingpastry

“About 12. On my period, looking and feeling like Shyte. Simply walking home from the shops. Was wearing jeans and an oversized T-shirt. This asshole and his late 20-something year old friends start hooting their car, and hanging out the windows while catcalling me. Ignore it. When they suddenly come around again and drive slowly past me and they keep saying how sexy they think I am. I had a moment where I though “ oh god this is how people end up getting kidnapped. There are four of them, and one of me. Even if I run I won’t make it very far.” I started walking faster, and eventually, I assume that they got bored, and sped off. I basically ran home. I have similar incidents but this was the one that came to mind first.” –indigoshaman

“I had one instance last year, I was out for a run, it was dark but I always ran in a safe small neighborhood. A pickup truck drives by and I hear the driver say something then all of a sudden the truck came to a halt and just sat in the street waiting for me to catch up. I saw what was going to happen so I stopped on the sidewalk a bit way back and hid in the shadow of a tree until the truck finally drove away. And they were mad cos they squealed their tires and everything. I’m glad I stopped. I was so scared of what could’ve happened, I ran so fast home and stopped running for a bit because of it.” –APainInWomensClothes

“Mine was also at 12 years old. I was walking home from school, wearing normal jeans and a t-shirt. [I hate that I feel the need to explain what I was wearing]. A truck slowed down to keep pace with me, and a man yelled, “I’d like to bend your ass over the hood of my truck!” Another man laughed from inside the truck. I didn’t quite understand what that meant, but I figured it must be a pervert thing. I got scared they might try to grab me, so I ran into some random person’s backyard, since I figured they couldn’t drive through there. I told my dad what happened, and he was furious.” –TheOtherZebra

“I was 7. I had this beautiful dress that had a full circle skirt and I spun around in it because how can you not when you’re 7 and you love your dress?

My uncle’s friend(M, 50s) was there and he told me to spin again because he could see my underwear. I remember just feeling so gross and afraid. I told my mom and she was livid. We left and I was never allowed near that man.

I also couldn’t wear that dress afterwards without thinking about how that incident made me feel. It definitely took a little bit of my innocence away.” –

seeseecinnamon

“When I was seven I was walking by some older kids (early college) at a pool. I was adjusting my swim suit straps by sticking my fingers under them and lifting them up, so you could see skin but not in my top. I remember one of the girls went really loudly “OoOoO showing off for the boys” and the boys started whistling and jeering. I was so uncomfortable and embarrassed I hid behind some pool hosing until my mom came to get me (she left me at the pool at the YMCA while she pretended to work out for two hours).” –retroverted_uterus

“That happened to me this year, I’m 25. I was on the bus on the way to church and a man sexually harassed me. He included crude comments about the pattern on my dress. It broke my heart.” –MaroneyOnAWindyDay

“My dad told me not to eat bananas like a whore when I was 11-12. I was very confused and didn’t make the association with bananas looking like dicks until many many years later.” –Idk_whats_real

“I was 9 or 10 and a neighbor kid (7 or 8M) grabbed my ass one day while I was out playing kickball with the other neighbor kids. I didn’t know what to do so I just went inside. Didn’t even finish my turn. Did what I could to avoid him until we ended up in school again. Looking back, hate how young this happened at on both our ends. About the same age, one of my dads friends made a comment about my chest and how much I looked like a boy and how he couldn’t wait to see what I looked like in a few years. Again, just avoided him after that. On a much better note, I (27F) recently have found myself managing a bar where it’s all regulars. One of them, R (M30), told another regular, D (M60), that we were going to hook up and D asks, “Yeah, but does she know that?” and got R to back off without me having to say anything to him. It’s honestly some of the alliances that really make a females life easier.” –BeanieBlitz

“Seven or eight? My sister (1 year older) and I had just gotten furry boots for Christmas and were wearing them out. Three teenagers on bikes stopped us and started going off about how sexy we were in those boots and wouldn’t let us pass. I remember being confused and scared. My sister who was blonde, always got the worst of it though. She was raped at the age of 16 and was never the same since, that led to a downward spiral and eventually her death last year.” –Scoobymaybe

“A step cousin asked to see what color panties I was wearing. I was probably 6.

I was a waitress at 15, a man I was serving said “I should be in prison for the thoughts I’ve had about you” Never forgot that one.

Edit: I have worked in restaurants since then and have enough stories to write a book. I’m 30 and I own the restaurant now. This shit does not fly with me!” –meatmama

“I was 12 and was babysitting my younger brother (11yrs younger than me) and took him to the park and someone apparently assumed he was my son and told me to keep my legs shut next time. I had to ask a friend what it meant. It mostly just made me afraid of being a teen parent, and being publicly shamed. Edited to add: wow, this is clearly a common experience for so many people- sorry to all of you who have also been victim to people’s weird obsession with teen pregnancy and who feel their only possible course of action is to slut shame children!” –Peskypikachu

“I insisted I have my own room and that I didn’t want to share a bed with my mum, so she put me in a room with her scuba diving friend that was renting the room next to us. She obviously trusted him or something to put me in there. He would make comments about how I would grow up to have a nice body – a remark that I never understood because I was 7! I ended getting molested by that son of a b*tch and I never grasped what he had done until YEARS later. Now I distance myself from older men. I grew up being wary of others.” –hafyu

“I was 8, I was helping my younger cousin on to her tricycle so I picked her up and as I was bent over from picking her up some creep on a bike whistled at me and yell “aye mami”. I was in pink shorts and a matching Winnie the Pooh shirt. My dad chased him down the street with a bat.

[edit] I just remembered this one. Another time was when I was 9 and my cousins and I were swimming in a river in between two hills. Our parents were on one hill BBQing and the other was too steep for anyone to climb up so the only way you could get to the side facing the river was by going over the hill from the other side and hope to God you wouldn’t slide down the hill and into the rocky river. Anyway my cousins and I are splashing each other and being kids. I see something out of the corner of my eye and see this big fat white guy looking at us through binoculars. So me being a kid thought him having binoculars was cool so I yell and point “HEY LOOK HE’S GOT BINOCULARS!” And once I said that took off pulling his pants up. When I was like 17 or 18 I realized he was jerking off to us playing in the water in our swimsuits.

[edit] for those that are confused as to why I put the guys race in the story, that is how my 9 year old brain chose to remember him. We lived in a mostly Latinx community so seeing this random pale white guy was not a common occurrence. The only white people I came across as a child was when we went to different cities or the teachers at school. Take it as you will.” –princesspotato92

“I was 7 years old, I was at a place called “Health World” it was an exhibit about the human body, that was really popular at the time. There was also a large group of highschoolers there with their school at the time. 6 boys, tried to gang rape me in one of the exhibit halls when they thought no one was looking. They were all 15-17. It started with them making comments about my skirt (“That’s a short skirt, Little Mama”) and one of them backed me into a wall. It was a blur from there. I remember someone saying “HOld her down, make sure she can’t fight.” and I started screaming for my mom and my cousin.

The difference of time, between my mother stepping away to get my cousin from a trash can (she threw up), and them trying this was like five minutes. They dropped me, before they could get my clothes off but I remember very vividly how horrible it was. I felt so violated and scared and dirty…

I repressed how violent this encounter actually was, until my ex-bff’s mom slut shamed me saying “You must be a little slut, after all those boys couldn’t keep their hands off you at that musuem.” (and yes they were punished but a teacher tried to actually defend them and tried to say it was my fault… Until my mom pointed to me, sitting on a chair in the corner, in my little pink skirt, my Little Mermaid T-shirt and my pink Winx Club sneakers. He still tried to keep defending it even when my mom pointed out “SHE’S SEVEN YEARS OLD. HOW IS IT TO ANY OF YOU, THAT TRYING TO GANG RAPE A SEVEN YEAR OLD SEEMS LIKE IT WAS A PERFECTLY APPROPRIATE THING? IS THIS WHAT YOUR TEACHING THEM!?”)

That was as young as it got…”- Storm137

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New Lawsuit Alleges that Alex Rodriguez is Guilty of Embezzlement and Racketeering: ‘He is a serial cheater and liar’

Entertainment

New Lawsuit Alleges that Alex Rodriguez is Guilty of Embezzlement and Racketeering: ‘He is a serial cheater and liar’

Photo via Getty Images

It looks like scandal just can’t stay away from A-Rod. The former Yankees all-star is now facing controversy based off of the claims filed in a lawsuit by his former brother-in-law, Constantine Scurtis.

The lawsuit alleges that Rodriguez is a pathological liar and cheater who embezzled millions of dollars through shady real estate deals.

The lawsuit states: “Defendant Alex Rodriguez, a former Yankees baseball player, is a serial cheater and liar. After cheating on his wife, Cynthia, and lying about his affairs, Alex Rodriguez then lied to and cheated his brother in law in their real estate partnership.”

According to Scurtis, he and Rodriguez formed a real estate partnership around the beginning of A-Rod’s marriage to his sister, Cynthia. The initial deal was that the duo would leverage A-Rod’s star power to attract clients and sales and would get 95% of the profits. Scurtis would get the rest of the profits, including acquisition fees when applicable.

Scurtis says that A-Rod sold their joint company without his consent and without giving him any of the profits.

But per Scurtis, in 2008, around the time that Rodriguez’s marriage to his first wife dissolved, A-Rod abruptly booted Scurtis from the partnership. Scurtis alleges that, up until that point, Rodriguez had previously lied to him and assured him that nothing would change in their business dealings.

The lawsuit also alleges that Rodriguez committed various acts of fraud, including concocting a “scheme to profit off of the devastation wrought by Hurricane Ike.”

Hurricane Ike was a natural disaster that resulted in at least 195 deaths and billions of dollars in damage in 2008.

Scurtis says that Rodriguez committed insurance fraud, faking accounting records to claim that his properties sustained significantly more damage than they actually did.

The lawsuit alleges that A-Rod bribed an official who caught wind of the scheme to keep quiet.

“Through their racketeering,” the lawsuit said, “Rodriguez and his co-conspirators have caused Scurtis many millions of dollars in damages.”

Scurtis’s lawyer says that A-Rod will “face a jury on August 2, 2021, to answer claims that he and his co-conspirators engaged in a pattern of racketeering and embezzlement.”

“Scurtis never suspected that the tussle over the day-to-day operation of the business arising from his sister’s divorce would be followed by a systematic and fraudulent effort to eliminate Scurtis’s equity in the venture and strip him of the future financial rewards to which he was rightfully entitled,” says the lawsuit.

It should be noted that this is not the first time that Scurtis has brought a lawsuit against his ex-brother-in-law.

There seems to be no love lost between these two former business partners. Over the years, Scurtis has filed a multiple lawsuits against the Dominican ex-MVP, including a $100 million one in 2015 that included many of the same allegations. It is unclear how that situation ended, but judging by the newest lawsuit, Scurtis’s previous ones have not been successful.

As for A-Rod, he is hitting back at Scurtis’s claims, and filed a countersuit denying the accusations. We guess we’ll just keep our eyes peeled to see how this all turns out.

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