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Minnesota Human Rights Dept. Settles With Businesses In Sexual Harassment Cases

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Department of Human Rights announced settlements Tuesday in sexual harassment cases with three businesses, including the group that runs the state's Renaissance Fair.

The state agency reached the settlements after finding that Mid-America Festivals Corporation, the Minnesota Sword Club in Minneapolis and Red Cabin Custard in Ely failed to provide a work environment free of sexual harassment and assault, violating the Minnesota Human Rights Act. None of the three businesses had effective policies in place to prevent sexual harassment and assault, according to the department.

The department's investigation found that the artistic director of the Minnesota Renaissance Fair in Shakopee had raped a photographer in 2017, threatening to kill her family and ruin her life.

The investigation also found that the owners of the Red Custard Cabin and Minnesota Sword Club had engaged in unwanted touching and sexual innuendos directed at employees.

"I am a victim, a survivor. My voice deserves to be heard," the photographer said in the department's release. "The person who harmed me deserves to be held accountable as well as the company that ignored his behavior for years."

The settlements require the businesses to implement and enforce anti-sexual assault and harassment policies, and provide multiple ways for employees to report assault and harassment.

(© Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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