New Boston settles sexual harassment lawsuit
Former police officer claimed supervisors had ‘rapability’ scale
NEW BOSTON – The town has reached a settlement agreement with the former police officer who sued after she says she was sexually harassed by another officer, and then punished when she complained about the harassment.
Alexandra Drake filed her lawsuit against the town last year, claiming that then-senior officer Lt. Michael Masella, would allegedly rate women he pulled over on a “rapability scale.”
Records in the federal U.S. District Court in Concord indicate that the case was recently dismissed as settled. Drake’s attorney, Anthony Soltani, declined to comment on the settlement agreement.
“I am only allowed to say that the matter has been settled,” Soltani said.
Settlement agreements in lawsuits involving municipalities are supposed to be available from the Town Clerk’s office during regular business hours. The agreement was not available when The Telegraph went to New Boston on Friday. Town administrator Peter Flynn was not in the office.
Selectmen are scheduled to discuss the settlement agreement Monday night as part of their regular meeting agenda.
Masella, a former longtime Nashua police officer, no longer appears on the New Boston Police Department’s roster. According to Drake’s lawsuit, Masella talked about rape, made sexually explicit remarks to Drake and even showed up at her home uninvited.
Masella allegedly ordered Drake to add untruths to a police report, and she was later disciplined by Chief James Brace for that report after she complained about the sexual harassment, according to the lawsuit.
This is the second sexual harassment complaint that the town has settled involving the police department in the past two years.
Jennifer Watson, a nine-year Air Force veteran who did three tours of duty in Iraq, worked as an officer in New Boston between 2012 and 2015. She left her job in 2015 amid some controversy that resulted in a complaint being filed with the New Hampshire Human Rights Commission.
Watson’s attorney, Ben Wyatt, declined to speak about the matter, but acknowledged earlier this year that an agreement between Watson and the town had been reached. According to Drake’s lawsuit, Masella made inappropriate comments about Watson and another female office who is no longer with the department.
Damien Fisher can be reached at 594-1245 or firstname.lastname@example.org or @Telegraph_DF.