Volunteer, 16, sexually harassed by New Jersey fire chief, 45, with a series of shocking comments about her body, court documents allege
- Franklin’s fire chief Raymond Read is said to have asked Priya Gupta, who was 16 at the time, about her pubic hair in 2018
- Read allegedly told Gupta he could ‘teach you some skills with your tongue’
- The teen was volunteering as an emergency services technician at the time
A New Jersey fire chief was charged with sexual harassment by a teenage volunteer after making inappropriate comments about her body, court documents claim.
Franklin’s fire chief Raymond Read is said to have asked the 16-year-old about her pubic hair and said he could teach her “ some skills with your tongue ” in 2018.
Priya Gupta, now 18, was reportedly the victim of a campaign of sexual harassment by Read while volunteering as an emergency services technician, according to court documents obtained by the New York Post.
Franklin Fire Department Chief Raymond Read allegedly asked the 16-year-old about her pubic hair and said he could teach her “ some skills with your tongue ” in 2018.
Read, 45, the teenager allegedly asked if her pubic hair is’ like a runway down there? Leave a little taste saver, ” said last month’s Warren County Superior Court lawsuit.
He reportedly told Gupta that he could ‘teach you some skills with your tongue’ and also told her she had a ‘c ** k-craving disorder’.
The fire chief also allegedly told her that her ‘skinny’ arms ‘were only good to put behind your back if you hit him from behind,’ court papers claim.
Read is said to have made racist comments about Gupta, who is of Indian descent. He reportedly told another woman that “he would never date an Indian” and “didn’t want to smell like curry.”
Read would make the inappropriate comments to the 16-year-old and other female staff volunteers. He is also said to have hailed the Ku Klux Klan as a ‘charity organization’.
Gupta, who is now a freshman of pre-emergency medicine, has also claimed two more lieutenants and a firefighter sexually harassed her while volunteering.
Read reportedly sent Gupta a series of inappropriate text messages and made dirty comments about her social media posts. This reportedly continued even when Gupta left her volunteer role to go to college.
He reportedly messaged her on social media after she left for a collage, which read, ‘Don’t tempt me, I miss you, god I miss you, the things I would do to you if I came to see you,’ lawsuit.
Gupta reported the alleged sexual harassment to the Deputy Chief of the Franklin Fire Department on August 24 this year. But the lawsuit claims her complaint was not taken seriously.
The teenager had a brief relationship with 26-year-old Lieutenant Vincent Fortunato when she was 17.
“Read and Fortunato used their power and authority as employers of the prosecution to exploit and deceive the prosecution into engaging in an illicit sexual relationship with defendant Fortunato,” the court document said.
Gupta is looking for the defendants to receive anti-harassment, anti-discrimination and other sensitivity training.
“As alleged in the complaint, the defendants operated a fire station where the deranged leaders promoted a culture of misogyny and bigotry,” Gupta’s attorney, Peter Valenzano, told The New York Post. ‘Mrs. Gupta was consumed by an inferno of sexual harassment and discrimination – much of which occurred while she was still a minor. ‘