Walmart sued by ex-worker who accused manager of raping her in NJ store
WEST WINDSOR — A New Jersey woman is suing Walmart, claiming she was raped last year inside the company's Princeton store by a manager.
The woman, who is identified in the complaint by the pseudonym of "Jane Doe," was an employee at the Route 1 store in this township when the alleged sexual assault occurred on June 13, 2015.
The overnight manager at the time, Henry A. Deleon, was charged a week later with sexual assault. He was indicted in January by a Mercer County grand jury and eventually pleaded guilty to a lower offense, fourth-degree criminal sexual contact, which spared him from serving time in prison.
Deleon, 25, of Trenton, was sentenced in July to two years of probation. Walmart fired him after his arrest last year, a company spokesman said Wednesday.
News of the attack at the store is being reported for the first time by New Jersey 101.5, which obtained a copy of the woman's lawsuit in federal district court of New Jersey.
The lawsuit claims Walmart officials ignored the woman's repeated complaints about Deleon and that other female employees also had filed sexual harassment complaints against him.
The lawsuit seeks an unspecified amount of damages, alleging claims of a hostile work environment under the state's Law Against Discrimination.
The woman said she was forced to quit her job because of the "intolerable" work environment caused by Walmart waiting only until police arrested Deleon before firing him.
A spokesman for Walmart said the company had not yet been served with a copy of the lawsuit.
"We take the allegations seriously," Randy Hargrove said. "Our associates are expected to act professionally at all times and if they do not we will take appropriate action."
Deleon is also named as a defendant. It was not clear Thursday if he had an attorney.
Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-438-1015 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.