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Red Cross helped an executive accused of misconduct work with children

A nurse at MedStar Washington Hospital Center took notes as Paul described the night time she says Gerald Anderson assaulted her. See the document.

Feeling fuzzy, Paul stumbled out of mattress, bumping into what she remembers as a espresso desk. She put her garments on. Anderson drove her house to Washington from what turned out to be northern Virginia.

“I was in total shock so I just believed him,” Paul stated.

She took a bathe and received dressed. “I was just on autopilot,” she stated. “I went to work and was totally numb.”

That morning on the workplace, she took a break and went to the pharmacy across the nook and received the morning-after capsule. She advised her good friend and coworker Alicia Fairfield what had occurred. Fairfield confirmed the account to ProPublica.

Paul says she received an e mail on her work account from Anderson that day saying he had a good time and could not wait to do it once more. “I was horrified. I [said], ‘Last night was a huge mistake. It shouldn’t have happened. I’m sorry. I don’t want to talk about this again.'”

The subsequent day, Saturday, Paul spoke on the telephone to her mom, who really helpful she name the native rape disaster middle. They directed her to MedStar Washington Hospital Center, close to the place Paul lived in Mount Pleasant. Paul and a former roommate, who confirmed the account to ProPublica, went to the hospital collectively. Both stated Paul had no historical past of blacking out from consuming.

The medical data of Paul’s examination, which an unbiased skilled reviewed at ProPublica’s request, are constant with her account. The examination signifies there was intercourse, however rape kits can’t show whether or not there was consent. According to the records, Paul informed the nurse, “I never found this guy attractive, I never flirted with him or considered engaging physically with him, and then the next thing I remember it was early morning, I was in bed.”

Paul suspected she had been drugged. But when she advised the hospital she didn’t need to report the episode to the police, they advised her that solely the police would check for date-rape medicine. So Paul nonetheless does not know for positive what explains her roughly 10-hour reminiscence hole. The physician did prescribe a 30-day course of medicine for HIV prevention. The unwanted effects, together with nausea and short-term imaginative and prescient blackouts, have been “brutal,” Paul stated.

Paul determined to not report something to her bosses on the Red Cross. “I just got this permanent job. I’m going to have this great career,” she recalled considering. “I was positive that if I said anything the repercussions for me would be very great and for him it was non-existent.” She fearful she would not be believed and regretted sending Anderson an e-mail she thought might be used towards her.

Paul and Anderson had little additional interplay till a number of weeks later, in late January or early February of 2011 when she wrote a letter to him and left it on his desk. She not has a replica of the letter however recollects it saying one thing to the impact of, “What happened was absolutely not consensual. I suspect you drugged me. My only hope is that you’ll read this and understand what you’ve taken from me and choose not to do it again to someone else.”

She by no means acquired a response. She tried to keep away from Anderson at work. She signed up for a martial arts self-defense class in Washington and sought remedy.

Beyond saying that Anderson has not engaged in sexual misconduct, Anderson’s lawyer declined a number of requests to reply detailed questions on Herland’s and Paul’s allegations.

About 18 months later, the management of the Red Cross acquired studies of the allegations towards Anderson. Paul, who had just lately left the charity to go to graduate faculty at Tufts’ Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, referred to as one other younger feminine staffer contemplating taking a job underneath Anderson and advised her what had occurred. The staffer advised a boss, and Paul and Herland determined to talk with investigators. As Herland put it in a Sept. 22, 2012, e-mail to Red Cross administration, they have been involved “that his behavior follows a dangerous pattern.”

The matter ended up within the charity’s Office of General Counsel. Top officers introduced in Jeffrey Larroca, an lawyer on the agency Eckert Seamans who commonly represents the Red Cross when it’s sued in employment instances.

Over the course of a number of weeks, Larroca interviewed Paul, Herland and at the least two others. Four individuals acquainted with the investigation informed ProPublica they regarded the inquiry as shallow. Larroca didn’t reply to repeated requests for remark.

“I was surprised that the investigation didn’t go further — they didn’t dig deeper,” stated Fairfield, Paul’s then-coworker. When Fairfield was interviewed, “They didn’t ask me about any experiences I’d had with Jerry Anderson,” she stated.

“It was very clear that his objective when conducting those interviews was about protecting the interests of the Red Cross,” stated Herland. “It was clear he was trying to poke holes in the story.”

In Paul’s case, the investigators didn’t search to get the data from the rape package, did not contact her pal who accompanied her to the hospital, and did not attain out to a Red Cross worker who she had advised about what occurred.

Another Red Cross worker who did take part was informed by an in-house lawyer that the charity was not retaining data related with the investigation, in accordance with a September 2012 e-mail obtained by ProPublica. “They are not making any records, not using email, only discussing in person w/ pen and paper and then destroying those notes after every discussion,” the e-mail stated.

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In a press release, the Red Cross denied this. “Records were maintained for this investigation, but they remain confidential to protect the privacy of the parties involved,” the charity stated.

Standing by its investigation, the charity stated: “The American Red Cross has zero tolerance for sexual harassment and has policies in place to enforce that, as evidenced by the corrective actions we took resulting in the resignation of Jerry Anderson more than 5 years ago.”

Several specialists on office harassment stated that investigations by employers are sometimes beset by conflicts of curiosity.

“Having a slipshod investigation is very common,” stated James M. Cooney, a professor at Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations who teaches employment regulation. “It’s critical that the investigator be as impartial as possible. It would be problematic for an employer to use its regular defense attorney because of the potential conflict.”

When the investigation was over, Herland obtained an Oct. 23, 2012, e mail from an in-house Red Cross lawyer saying, “We found merit to your complaint.” When Paul did not hear something, she referred to as the identical lawyer, Mary Elizabeth Cisneros, who advised Paul, “Your statement was helpful,” based on contemporaneous emails.

David Meltzer (by way of The Red Cross)

Meltzer, who was senior vice chairman for worldwide providers, then despatched out the email saying Anderson’s departure and praising him.

When Herland noticed the e-mail praising Anderson, she stated, “It made me physically sick to read. I was incredibly angry. It was a clear slap in the face to those of us who put ourselves out there.”

A number of days after the e-mail, Meltzer convened the employees assembly during which he additionally praised Anderson and stated he wished Anderson have been staying.

Eight days after Meltzer despatched the e-mail praising Anderson, the Red Cross introduced Meltzer was being promoted to basic counsel of the complete group. In that place, which he nonetheless holds, he oversees the charity’s dealing with of misconduct instances and is instantly liable for the Red Cross’ Office of Investigations, Compliance & Ethics. In a press release, the Red Cross stated Meltzer’s promotion had lengthy been within the works and was unrelated to his dealing with of the Anderson case.

In February 2013, Anderson was employed as a senior director for humanitarian response at Save the Children, the place his direct boss was Robert Laprade.

Laprade himself had beforehand labored for years on the Red Cross, the place he labored intently with Anderson on the aid effort after the Indian Ocean tsunami. According to a number of present and former staffers, the 2 are private buddies. Laprade advised ProPublica in a press release that he solely discovered final week about why Anderson left the Red Cross in 2012. “I never had any reason to think there were problems as I worked with him for five years and my observation was that he was professional,” Laprade stated.

Save the Children has a fame within the business for in-depth background checks. The group stated its recruiter carried out interviews and background checks on Anderson, in addition to receiving the constructive reference from the Red Cross.

Save the Children stated there have been no allegations of misconduct about Anderson throughout his time there. Anderson has since been promoted and is now affiliate vice chairman of humanitarian response.

Justin Elliott Talks About Reporting This Story on NPR’s Morning Edition

For a few years, the help business has been beset by scandals through which staff dedicated sexual abuse towards weak individuals in conflict and catastrophe zones. But it wasn’t till lately that the business started to look inward on the drawback of harassment and violence by staffers towards different staffers.

Reuters reported in November that assist teams, together with Save the Children International, had fired dozens of staffers for harassment prior to now yr. Save the Children US informed ProPublica it has acquired three reviews prior to now yr of sexual harassment.

A 2017 report on harassment by a process drive that features the worldwide Red Cross federation discovered that “good practices are not widespread” and there “is little capacity to identify and address repeat offenders” or share info between organizations.

In the U.S., organizations are usually not legally required to disclose misconduct when a potential employer requires a reference, in response to Janice Bellace, a professor of enterprise ethics on the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. Many have a coverage of not disclosing why an worker left, partly as a result of of a worry of lawsuits. “There are real cases where a person sues for defamation,” she stated.

Aid business observers say the failure to share info between organizations can perpetuate issues involving sexual misconduct.

Christine Williamson, an skilled who consults with assist organizations on human assets points, stated, “I have seen people move around who have gone through the disciplinary process, come out with a confidentiality agreement, and move on to another organization without really paying the price.”

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