Farmworker sues grower for sexual assault in the workplace
September 12, 2013
• Says she was raped on her first day on the job
• “Sexual assault is happening in the fields and we cannot turn a blind eye”
Saying she was raped during her first day on the job, a farmworker is suing her employer.
Maria Moreno is suing Parjmit Singh Bassi of Lucky Farms of Chowchilla, seeking both a monetary settlement and an agreement that the employer take affirmative action to provide safe and equal opportunities for all workers.
The case was filed in Madera County Superior Court by California Rural Legal Assistance Inc. and Villegas Carrera LLP.
Ms. Moreno worked for Lucky Farms in Madera County on Oct. 2, 2011. On that day, she claims, she was raped. She immediately contacted law enforcement and Mr. Bassi was charged with two counts of rape. The case is currently being prosecuted by the Madera County District Attorney’s Office.
“Our community needs to be aware that sexual assault is happening in the fields and we cannot turn a blind eye. It should not be a rare situation where an assault on a farmworker woman is prosecuted,” says CRLA attorney Felicia Espinosa.