Sanford, FL asked in Sexual Harassment for Florida

Q: Can I file a civil suit for sexual assault? And can I or should I also file criminal charges?

I met an entertainment exec online and we met to talk about doing business together. We met at a public restaurant and stayed there for about and hour. We talked business. Then went to another restaurant and it went more personal. He slapped me on my butt several times while I was walking to or from the car. Store cameras will show this.

Next, he wanted to go to my office to talk in a more "quiet" place. It was about 11:30 pm when we got there. We left around 1:30 am. While there, he groped me multiple times, made sexual advances and suggestions mutiple times, and coerced me to give him a sexual massage.

I'm very upset and distraught about this as noted in my public social media. Women need to understand when they're being assaulted and harassed and men need to know where to draw the line!

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1 Lawyer Answer
Tina El Fadel
Tina El Fadel
  • Boca Raton, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: I am sorry to hear that you had to go through this, especially given the Me Too and Times Up movement. The short answer to your question is that Florida does not recognize a civil cause of action for "sexual harassment" so you would have to file under a different theory such as assault and battery or intentional infliction of emotional distress. Civil Suits for sexual harassment in the workplace is a form of discrimination protected under both State and Federal law but there does not seem to be an employer/employee situation here.

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