A circuit court judge in Maryland is accused by a former staffer of sexual harassment.
Prince George’s County Circuit Court Judge Hassan El-Amin's former administrative assistant Denise Lowe-Williams said she lived with ongoing harassment by her then-boss for years, but she felt like she had to deal with it because she was an at-will employee.
“He would take these pictures, and I asked him eventually, ‘What are you going to do with these pictures?’ and he said he was going to make a calendar,” Williams said.
Judge El-Amin once made a crude comment indicating he was aroused by a skirt she wore, Williams said. He also told Williams he liked the way her behind looked in a dress she wore, she said.
He also found a way to be inappropriate with evidence from a case over which he presided, she said.
“It had something to do with, I think, sexual abuse, or something like that, and he had explicit pictures, and he called me in his office to show me these pictures,” Williams said.
She finally became fed up, filed a complaint and hired an attorney. But his behavior got worse, she said.
“When he told me I wasn't giving him enough attention, I just needed to seek help,” Williams said.
She said she began seeing a therapist.
After filing her complaint, a letter to Williams’ attorney from the Maryland Attorney General’s Office said, “Remedial action was taken to both address and prevent any potential harassing conduct."
Williams feels there should be more transparency, as the letter said the discipline is confidential.
“A lot of people ask me, ‘Well, what’s going on Denise?’ You know, ‘What are they doing?’ I don’t know. You know why I don’t know? All I’m told is that he’s been sanctioned,” Williams said.
After she filed her complaint, all of the judges in the 7th Judicial Circuit--which includes Charles County, St. Mary’s County, Calvert County and Prince George’s County were trained again on appropriate office behavior.
Williams still works at the Prince George’s County courthouse, but she's been reassigned so she no longer works with Judge El-Amin.
“My hope is that if somebody else has been through this or is going through this that this will encourage them to speak up about it,” Williams said.
News4 contacted El-Amin's chambers and he said he had no comment on the allegations.