By MICHAEL E. STEVENS, AP EditorMinneapolis locksmith Michael Evans says he’s never had a complaint about his work, and he doesn’t have to.
But when the locksmith for the former head of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division sued him in federal court last year over an allegation of sexual harassment, Evans found himself under scrutiny.
The woman, who said she was fired from his firm in 2016, said Evans had repeatedly kissed her without her consent.
Evans denies the allegations.
He said he is proud of the work he does, and that it’s always been his intention to treat every woman with respect.
He told the Associated Press he’s been contacted by other locksmiths and has been interviewed by investigators, but declined to comment further.
In a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis, Evans said the woman was fired after she reported Evans to the FBI in July 2016.
The suit accused Evans of having inappropriate sexual contact with her while she worked at his firm, and also of sexually harassing her while on the job.
She alleged Evans would ask for her phone number to be sent to him, ask her to meet up with him in his office and have sex with her.
He denies the accusations.
The woman said Evans, who has been working for the Minneapolis locksmith firm since the late 1990s, asked her to go out with him after she told him she was a virgin and had never been to a bar.
The lawsuit, which was filed in Minnesota Superior Court, said she told Evans, “I don’t want to be your lock-down assistant anymore.”
In an interview with the AP, Evans did not respond to a request for comment.
But Evans, a retired Minneapolis police officer, said in the lawsuit he’s a father and has an autistic child.
He said he never had an inappropriate sexual relationship with a person other than his wife, and says he believes his firm is a place for women to be treated with respect and safety.
“The bottom line is that the FBI is the protector of all of us, and when you see these things, you’re in the right place,” Evans said.
He also said he’s worked with a number of female colleagues at his company who have had similar complaints.
“This woman, I have no reason to believe that she was wrongfully terminated.
She’s an employee,” he said.
The allegations against Evans are the latest example of workplace harassment.
Earlier this month, a former chief executive of the tech company Twitter was charged with sexual harassment.
And in December, a man who runs a lockscreen business accused another locksmith of groping him and kissing him.
In the lawsuit, the woman said in a statement that Evans asked her out on dates after a business meeting and then invited her to his home to have sex.
“Mr. Evans would then come out to his house and hold me by the throat,” the woman’s attorney, William T. Leventhal, said.
“He kissed me on my mouth, throat, neck, and breasts.”
She said Evans would kiss her and touch her breast as they were alone in his house, according to the lawsuit.
After the encounter, the lawsuit said, she said she asked Evans if he was OK.
He denied it, the statement said, and she called the police.
The lawsuit said Evans later asked her why she had reported the incident.
She told the detective she didn’t want the police to come to the house.
In November, the FBI announced a $25 million settlement in the sexual harassment case.
The Justice Department announced a similar settlement in October.
The FBI, which oversees the criminal investigative division, said it would hire a new chief locksmith to oversee sexual harassment investigations and take other steps to ensure the agency is a safe place for its employees.