UHP trooper being sued for sexual harassment
SALT LAKE CITY – A Utah Highway Patrol sergeant is being sued for reportedly harassing a woman who works for a tow truck company. She says he sent her sexually suggestive texts, and even asked for her to send him sexy pictures.
The lawsuit alleges that the UHP was supposed to have three towing companies on rotation for heavy duty jobs, including West Coast Towing. Attorney Robert Sykes says, “They weren’t getting their share of rotations.” His client, Heather Leyva, is the liaison for West Coast Towing and she was tasked with working with the UHP to coordinate these jobs.
However, she claims the trooper in charge of fixing the problem, Sergeant Blaine Robbins, was the same person who was harassing her. Leyva says, “If he didn’t fix the issues, then I had to keep coming back to him.”
Leyva showed a series of text conversations she claims she had with Robbins, where he would tell call her things like “baby” and “sweet pea.” In one exchange, he wrote, “I didn’t get to see you long enough.” She replied, “Well… how can we remedy that??” He responded with, “I could think of many different ways and positions.”
Leyva claims she felt like she wasn’t in a position to rebuke Robbins. “My concern on saying to him, hard-nosed, ‘This has to stop,’ is that then the issues with the rotations still continue,” she says.
Sykes wouldn’t say how much his client would specifically ask for.
A spokesperson for the Department of Public Safety issued a statement, saying, “The Department of Public Safety has been made aware of a possible lawsuit claiming Heather Leyva was sexually harassed by a member of the Utah Highway Patrol. The Department takes all allegations of harassment very seriously. Due to potential litigation, our Department has no further comment regarding this matter.”
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