An assistant marketing manager has sued Steiff, a maker of teddy bears and stuffed animals, and its CEO, claiming that she was sexually harassed by the company’s CEO, which culminated, according to the employee, in a rape. The case was filed in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan.
According to Jane Collins, the plaintiff, Steiff’s CEO sexually harassed her during trade shows this past winter and in 2007 in New York. The lawsuit alleges that the rape occurred in 2004 near Steiff’s North American headquarters in Massachusetts.
The complaint alleges that the CEO asked Collins to accompany him to a storage unit where his wife’s car would be stored, and shut the unit’s door and sexually assaulted her in the front passenger seat.
Collins never contacted the police because she felt she need to keep her job. However, according to Collins, she complained about the sexual harassment to the company’s management, and nothing was done.
The CEO’s attorney stated to the Associated Press that the “allegations are meritless, and ‘[he] intends to vigorously defend himself against these claims and believes he ultimately prevail.'”