Port Orchard, WA
A Kitsap County jury awarded $565,000 today to two Kitsap County women who brought claims of sexual harassment against their former employer, Star Westsound, LLC, operator of the now closed Bremerton Lanes & Casino. The women alleged that a manager at Bremerton Lanes, Roy Pierce, engaged in sexual harassment over a period of years directed at numerous female employees. Pierce was accused of propositioning female employees and having planted hidden cameras to spy on women as they changed clothes for work. Pierce is presently incarcerated after being convicted on child molestation, child pornography and voyeurism charges. There was evidence that other managers were aware of Pierce’s activities at Bremerton Lanes and did nothing to stop him. The principal owner of the corporate employer, Frank Evans, was present throughout the trial but did not testify.
Following five days of trial, the jury deliberated briefly on Tuesday and then through lunch on Wednesday, reaching their unanimous verdict just after two o’clock p.m. Their verdict holds the employer liable for sexual harassment in the workplace and awards damages for the emotional harm caused to the women involved.
The women’s attorneys expressed gratitude for the jury’s award. “This jury recognized that although my clients were young and poor, they deserved fair treatment and respect,” said Henry Jones of Friedman | Rubin in Bremerton. “This jury did both in protecting these young working women.” Terry Venneberg of Gig Harbor, Washington, who also represented the women, noted the significance of the verdict, saying, “The jury spoke loud and clear in this case, making plain with their verdict that sexual harassment in the workplace will not be tolerated in our community.”