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(Hürriyet Newspaper, 8 October 2011)
The U.S. state of Massachussetts is roiling in the aftermath of the sexual
harrassment of a Turkish woman that has come to light. Fulya G.Capanelli,
who worked as a secretary for the municipality in the town of Mathuen,
complained to the municipality in 2005, claiming that the town's prosecutor,
Maurice Lariviere, who worked in the same building, was sexually
harrassing her. By 2007 the town had not taken the complaint seriously
so Fulya filed suit against both the municipality and the individual.
The suit was settled out of court by both parties the day before yesterday.
In accordance with the deal, Prosecutor Lavriviere agreed to pay an
unspecified amount of compensation to Capanelli, who withdrew her suit
against the town by shaking hands for a 250,000USD settlement.
Nevertheless, the town's residents are quite upset about the matter. In a
village where the average income is well below that of other American
towns, the residents have reacted against town officials. The cost of the
four-year legal battle to the town has been 489,961USD. Some said
'Where are our taxes going? We're expecting services, why should we
pay for your mistakes?'. These reactions are all over the internet and
show no sign of stopping. The town's population is 43,786.
The Mathuen police chief Joseph Solomon and his deputy Joseph Alaimo
put a hidden camera in the prosecutor's office and watched the sexual
harrassment from the mayor's office, which is in the same building. When
the prosecutor kissed Fulya and then started to go further, plainclothes
policemen hiding in the corridor restroom immediately entered the room
and arrested Lariviere. The prosecutor resigned after the incident. Fulya
took 14 weeks leave but when she didn't return she lost her job in the
On the day of the incident, Fulya's fiance, Anthony Capanelli, was in
prison for armed robbery. When he got out he and Fulya were married.