US & Canada

Mountie says male officer 'rubbed crotch' against her

File photo of RCMP officers 10 March 2005
Image caption The force's new commissioner has vowed to clamp down on any sexual harassment

A female constable in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police has launched a lawsuit alleging her complaints of sexual harassment went ignored.

Constable Karen Katz claims fellow Mountie Baldev Singh Bamra pinned her to a desk and rubbed his crotch against her knee.

He also allegedly slammed his chest into hers while wearing a bulletproof vest, causing "pain in her breasts".

It is the latest in a series of similar allegations to rock the Mounties.

The force's new Commissioner, Bob Paulson, vowed to investigate the handling of such complaints when he was appointed in November.

'No investigation'

Constable Katz also alleges that Constable Bamra held her without warning in a vice-like "bear hug" on a number of occasions.

She is seeking unspecified damages against Constable Bamra, the attorney general of Canada, the federal minister of public safety and the British Columbian solicitor general.

According to the lawsuit filed at the British Columbian Supreme Court, she alerted her supervisor to incidents that allegedly took place in 2006 and 2007, but there was no investigation.

She has been on medical leave from the Mounties since February 2009, while being treated for post-traumatic stress disorder.

Last year, Corporal Catherine Galliford, a former RCMP spokeswoman, went public with a 115-page internal complaint detailing years of alleged sexual harassment on the job.

She said such misconduct had left her with post-traumatic stress disorder and agoraphobia.

It prompted many former and current female Mounties to come forward with similar complaints.

A class-action lawsuit is in the works, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

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