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A jury on Tuesday rejected the claims of a former dispatcher who accused state police of sexual harassment for allegedly discussing sex on the job and using inappropriate gestures. Nancy Drew Suders, 61, had alleged that she was harassed by supervising troopers at the police station in McConnellsburg, Pa., where she worked for five months in 1998. She said the environment became so unpleasant she had to quit the $13-an-hour job. State police argued Suders panicked and exaggerated events after realizing she could not handle the job. Senior Deputy Attorney General Sarah C. Yerger called her a “fish out of water” who sometimes was late for work, became overwhelmed easily and lacked prior experience that would have prepared her for a dispatcher’s duties. Suders alleged male troopers discussed genital piercing, bestiality and teaching daughters oral sex. She testified last week that a corporal repeatedly acted out a professional wrestler’s move by grabbing his crotch and yelling “suck it.” Jurors “didn’t spend eight hours a day with those policemen for five months. I’m the one that spent eight hours a day with that bunch,” Suders said later outside the federal building in Harrisburg. Suders’ attorney, Don Bailey, questioned the state’s allegations about Suders’ dispatching skills. “These allegations about her not being competent, they’re not really relevant to the issue of whether there was sexual misconduct,” Bailey said after the verdict. Last year, Suders’ case reached the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled 8-1 that she could sue under federal civil rights law. But the high court also made it more difficult to prove her case than someone fired under similar circumstances. Suders quit while under investigation for stealing her own performance examination, but she was never charged. After resigning from the state police, she returned to her previous job as a Fulton County deputy sheriff. Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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