WASHINGTON — A Washington state woman who says she was sexually assaulted and repeatedly sexually assaulted by a goat while working on the property of a federally-funded research project has filed a lawsuit accusing the U.S. Forest Service of negligence, animal cruelty and other charges.
Jennifer Lee Peterson filed the lawsuit Thursday in U.s.
District Court in Seattle, saying she was a contractor for the Ulysses S. Grant National Wildlife Refuge in Washington State when she was assaulted, and that the abuse occurred in an office where her boss was also working.
The lawsuit alleges that the company was negligent because the goats were kept inside an enclosed building with no ventilation.
The suit also accuses the Forest Service and the UBS AG, Switzerland-based company that manages the refuge, of animal cruelty.
In addition, the suit says, the goats’ health and well-being were harmed by being kept in cramped conditions and being treated like a livestock.
Peterson said she was abused when she began working on federal land in the summer of 2015 and that her bosses and supervisor at the time failed to adequately protect her.
“The Forest Service has refused to acknowledge that they were negligent in their handling of the animals, including not protecting them from the goat feces and dust,” Peterson’s lawsuit said.
The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages and asks the court to order the Forest Services to pay $4,000 in legal fees.
It is not clear what, if any, punishment the agency may face.