ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — One of the 13 women who accused then-Monroe County Legislator Ernest Flagler-Mitchell of a variety of ethics violations in June is filing a $1 million lawsuit, calling it “a demand for justice.”
Flagler-Mitchell admitted he sent an inappropriate photo to a 19-year-old woman last November. That woman, LaKaya Sinclair, met Flagler-Mitchell at the scene of a mass shooting at her home.
“He provided no help,” Sinclair’s attorney, former Congressional candidate Nate McMurray said in a statement issued Monday. “Instead, he began to systematically harass and manipulate Ms. Sinclair, trying to exploit a teenage woman in a vulnerable position.”
“This harassment continued until Flagler-Mitchell sent a picture of his semi-erect penis to Ms. Sinclair,” McMurray said. “He asked, ‘Do you like it?’ She responded, ‘This is weird.’”
Sinclair and her attorneys say Flagler-Mitchell “continued to try and manipulate, stalk, and harass” her.
“This behavior has gone on for years, unchecked, unpunished by law enforcement, the county legislature, or anyone else,” they said. “That all stops now.”
The Monroe County Ethics Board investigated the incident, ultimately finding 13 women who reported unwanted sexual advances, or consensual relations where Flagler-Mitchell provided money or paid bills.
“I was a teenager in an awful situation,” Sinclair said in a statement issued Monday. “An elected official, with a duty to serve the community, came to me pretending to care and implying that he wanted to help me. Instead, he tried to manipulate me and take advantage of me. And even after his behavior became clear, and widely documented, none of the arms of justice seemed to care.”
Sinclair and her legal held a press conference Tuesday morning in Rochester.
Sinclair is filing a $1 million lawsuit against Flagler-Mitchell for “damages to her mental wellbeing and reputation.”
“This man, a man of power, tried to use and exploit me,” Sinclair said. “I will not be used. The same way in the beginning of all of this, I was a political pawn. I am not a pawn.