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Burbank police officer to appeal jury’s discrimination lawsuit decision

After a jury in May rejected a Burbank police officer’s claims that she was harassed and discriminated against because of her gender, ethnicity and pregnancy, the officer plans to take her case to a state appellate court.

A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge on June 25 denied Officer Cindy Guillen’s request for a new trial. Guillen said in her 2009 claim that she endured sexual comments and racial epithets.

Guillen is of Costa Rican and Guatemalan ancestry, and in her claim states that she was the first Latina hired by the department in 2000.

Her attorney, Solomon Gresen, said the appeal was being filed because he should have been able to present more evidence.


“We believe that some of the rulings that were made, which precluded us from introducing certain evidence and pursing certain claims, need to be reviewed by the appellate court,” Gresen said Tuesday.

On May 10, a judge told jurors they could not consider claims that Guillen was harassed because of her ethnicity and gender. Jurors were then left to decide whether she was discriminated against because of her pregnancy and if she faced retaliation when she complained.

Less than a week later, jurors found in favor of Burbank.

In her original complaint, Guillen — who is one of 15 women in a department of 157 sworn officers — alleged that a sergeant told her she should be quiet or he would bend her over and sexually assault her.


But harassment claims based on gender and race were removed from the trial, and jurors were told not to consider that testimony in their deliberations.

Gresen had sought up to $500,000 for pain and suffering, and $30,000 for lost wages due to a lost assignment.

Guillen’s trial was the third involving a police officer to go before a jury, but marked the first time jurors sided with Burbank, which painted her in court as someone who holds grudges and as capitalizing on the Police Department’s recent legal woes.


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