ST. LOUIS — A former employee of Brown & Crouppen is suing the firm and two of its attorneys after she says she was drugged and sexually assaulted at a company holiday party, a claim the company denies.
The alleged incident happened two years ago at a mandatory company party at the St. Louis Four Seasons Hotel, according to the lawsuit filed last week.
The lawsuit says a co-worker drugged the woman’s drink at the hotel bar.
Later in the evening, Brown & Crouppen paid for an Uber the woman and several other employees took to the Penthouse Club, also known as the Diamond Cabaret, in Sauget, Illinois, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit alleges the woman was undressed by a performer on stage, and she remembers the two attorneys -- and other, unknown men -- forcing her to have oral sex, after one of the attorneys said, “She’s ready.”
The woman woke up the next morning to one of those attorneys groping her at his home, the lawsuit says.
She didn’t recall the details of what happened until months later, when she picked up a paper clip from one of the attorney’s hands at work, triggering her memories, the lawsuit says.
St. Louis police said they are no longer investigating the case.
When the woman told Brown & Crouppen about what happened, the lawsuit says she was placed on paid administrative leave, then medical leave, and she eventually resigned because of what happened, the lawsuit said.
Both accused attorneys are named in the lawsuit, but 5 On Your Side is not reporting their names because they haven’t been charged with crimes. Both lawyers are still employed at the law firm.
Andrea McNairy, the firm's managing attorney, released the following statement:
“We fiercely deny the allegations against our firm and the attorneys mentioned. Brown & Crouppen does not tolerate sexual harassment or discrimination. We take the safety and well-being of our employees very seriously.
As soon as the employee informed us of the allegations, we immediately conducted a thorough internal investigation, provided the employee with several weeks of paid leave to focus on her own well-being, remained in communication with her, and took all appropriate actions to accommodate her and everyone else involved. A police investigation was also conducted at the time, and no criminal actions were found.”