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Ventura County

Woman Files Civil Suit Against Boss Who Admitted Molesting Her

Law: Plaintiff says sexual harassment began when she was 16. The businessman has pleaded guilty to eight felony charges.

September 05, 2002|TRACY WILSON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

A Ventura businessman who pleaded guilty to eight felony counts for molesting a teenage girl who worked in his office is now being sued by her in civil court.

The woman, now 19, filed a sexual harassment lawsuit this week against Peter Remedios, 64, and his Ventura-based property management company, Intercontinental Realty.

The suit accuses Remedios of fondling and performing sex acts on the girl while she worked as a clerk in his office between December 1999 and October 2001.

Most of the incidents occurred at the Telegraph Road office, according to the lawsuit, and began when she was 16.

"This harassment took the form of unwanted sexual requests and sexual acts perpetrated by the defendant," the suit alleges, " ... and created a work environment that was hostile."

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Ventura County Superior Court, seeks unspecified damages for sexual battery, sexual harassment, wrongful termination and intentional infliction of emotional distress. It also seeks compensatory damages for lost wages and benefits, medical expenses and punitive damages.

However, the woman said Wednesday that money can never compensate for the abuse she endured.

"Money will never replace the life that you've lost or being able to trust people," she said. "I think he deserves all the punishment he can get."

The lawsuit comes nearly six months after Remedios, a longtime friend of the girl's family, pleaded guilty to eight felony counts of genital penetration and two counts of misdemeanor sexual battery.

In June, Remedios was placed on five years' probation and ordered to serve 300 days in jail. However, court records show that the jail sentence has been stayed three times and Remedios remains free. He is scheduled to turn himself in later this month.

On Wednesday, the woman suing Remedios said she turned to the civil courts after Remedios "got away" with what she believes was a lenient sentence.

Emotionally and financially, she said, she continues to suffer from the abuse and resulting job loss. "I lost my job references," she said. "I could never work in an office again. I could never have a male boss again."

Remedios did not return calls for comment Wednesday.

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