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Lawyer Accused of Sexual Harassment Blames Employee's 'Carrot Shirt'

Jerrod Mahurin also noted a time when Lisa Davidson "hung a giant stuffed penis in one of the attorney’s offices."
March 4, 2020, 12:05pm
carrot sweater woman
Photo: Getty Images

Last week, Lisa Davidson filed a lawsuit against the St. Francois County Prosecuting Attorney's Office where she'd worked for 18 years, alleging that the Missouri county's former prosecutor "subjected her to continuous unwanted, unwelcome sexual comments, jokes, and advances," and then fired her after she reported his behavior to the Missouri state Commission on Human Rights.

According to the Daily Journal, when Davidson worked for Jerrod Mahurin, he allegedly did everything from ask her to show her breasts to him, suggest that she should leave her hotel room door unlocked during a work-related trip so he could access her room during the night, and forced her to endure a wide range of inappropriate remarks.

"He wanted to know if I'd ever had a threesome," Davidson told the Riverfront Times in 2018. "And then he asked me about my little hands. He put his hand up to mine, and told me how little and pretty my hands were." Mahurin allegedly also made references to "having a big cock" and "being good in bed."

In her legal filing, Davidson alleges that Mahurin made sexual comments and advances to other women in the office, and that he rewarded those who reciprocated with salary increases or additional paid time off.

Davidson filed her complaint with the state Commission on Human Rights in March 2018, and she says that she was demoted shortly afterward. In June of that year, Mahurin said that he was not able to find evidence that she'd made a complaint to the agency, and he fired her on the spot, alleging fraud. (Her termination came one day after Mahurin was interviewed by the Riverfront Times about the harassment accusations.)

Davidson also alleges that Mahurin's successor—he was not re-elected as county prosecutor in 2018—offered to give her job back if she "[opted] not to sue St. Francois County." She didn't agree to that condition, and she wasn't rehired.

When he spoke to the Daily Journal last week, Mahurin denied all of Davidson's allegations, accusing her of filing the lawsuit to "antagonize him" and to negatively affect his current job.

He also took the time to suggest that Davidson was actually the inappropriate one in the office. "One incident, about the time that I took over as the prosecutor, she hung a giant stuffed penis in one of the attorney’s offices and I had to reprimand her for that," he said.

"She also wore a shirt that had carrots where her breasts would be, in the office and I had to instruct her not to have any contact with the public while she was wearing that, and to never wear that again. So, this is retaliatory because she was fired and, again, has no basis in fact and just completely fictitious.”

The Riverfront Times notes that Davidson didn't deny wearing the carrot sweater—but she only wore it during an office-wide ugly sweater party. (The Times has also previously reported that Mahurin's nickname among some attorneys and county employees was "Douchebag McBully.")

Davidson's attorney, MaryAnne Quill said that Mahurin's "giant hanging penis" allegation was false. "She worked there eighteen years without incident until she filed the charge of discrimination," Quill wrote.

Also maybe, just maybe "she wore a sweater that drew attention to her breasts" isn't the best response to those allegations, Jarrod.

This article originally appeared on VICE US.