WARNING: This article contains graphic details that may disturb some viewers.
MARLBORO COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – A former school bus driver for the Marlboro County School District has filed a federal lawsuit against the district over what she said was repeated sexual harassment at the hands of a coworker.
According to the lawsuit filed Jan. 2, Janesha Quick is seeking to recover damages from the MCSD over its alleged failure to address the harassment, “which culminated in a brazen and frightening sexual assault in the cramped quarters of a school bus in front of two coworkers.”
Quick alleges that fellow bus driver Darryl Williams would often tell her about the various ways he intended to consume her, saying he likened her to “edible arrangements,” “hamburgers,” and “Christmas ham,” the lawsuit states.
“Compounding the threatening nature of these comments was the fact that Williams, a man of nearly 300 pounds, often said them while attempting to back Janesha into corners at MCHS and physically (isolate) her from coworkers,” according to court documents.
When Quick was promoted to an administrative position in the district’s department of transportation, she claims Williams would text her pictures of ham, hamburgers and rare steaks.
The plaintiff states she privately complained about Williams’ alleged harassment to the director of transportation, Herbert McNeil, but was always told she was taking the comments “too seriously,” the lawsuit states.
On Jan. 13, 2017, Quick said she was on one of the buses and talking with two coworkers when Williams came onboard, interrupted the conversation and told the plaintiff, “I haven’t had no ham since Christmas, I sure would like to have me a slice of that ham.”
According to court documents, Quick screamed for him to stay away from her, to which he reportedly laughed and touched her inappropriately.
“Utterly terrified and believing Williams might rape her, Janesha grabbed a broomstick to defend herself. Williams easily got the broomstick away from her, so Janesha pushed her way out of the emergency exit,” the lawsuit states.
That day, Quick filed a report with the Bennettsville Police Department and informed the school resource officer. According to the suit, district officials did not speak with the plaintiff about the alleged assault until 10 days after it reportedly happened.
According to court records, Williams was charged with simple assault on Feb. 9, 2017.
Quick is seeking actual damages, including emotional distress, lost wages, liquidated damages and attorney’s fees.
WMBF News has reached out to district officials seeking comment on the lawsuit.