According to a lawsuit filed in the city this week, a St. Louis police officer was sexually harassed by her bosses, posted a pornographic video on Facebook and urged her to lose weight while she was six months pregnant.
Officer Amanda Signorino joined the force in December 2015 and spent several years with her boss, Lt. Jeff Hoots, together.
They split in January 2017 and that’s when their problems began, according to Signorino.
According to the lawsuit, she was subjected to “continuous and unrequited sexual harassment, intimidation, bullying, practical jokes and advances.”
Lt. Jeff Hoots, who retired in April 2022, is pictured with Officer Amanda Signorino in January 2017 – the post was made around the time they split
Signorino joined the St. Louis Police Department in December 2015. She is now suing for sexual harassment
“I have been sexually assaulted, harassed and discriminated against because of my gender,” she wrote in the letter, which was filed with the St. Louis Today with the lawsuit.
“After reporting the discrimination, I was retaliated against, transferred and demoted.”
She noted that in December 2022 she was told by her boss to lose 13 pounds while she was six months pregnant. The reports do not reveal who the father of the unborn child is or allegedly told her to lose weight.
Signorino said that after their split, Hoots was transferred to another precinct, the Park Rangers.
But in 2019, a colleague, a sergeant, sent her pornographic material on Facebook.
A colleague of Signorino’s reported it, and she was called into an executive’s room to discuss it without being allowed to bring her union rep, she claims.
Hoots was transferred from Signorino’s Revier to the Park Rangers, which he joined in July 2017
Signorino (pictured) said she received pornographic material from one of Hoots’ allies after their relationship ended
Signorino said the officer tried to downplay the Facebook message and convince her it was distorting what happened to Hoots.
Signorino was eventually transferred to another county, North County.
But in 2021, Hoots was moved to the same county after a member of the Park Rangers division accused him of sexual harassment.
Hoots commanded the Park Rangers, but was also accused there of sexual harassment
Brittney Young said Hoots personally recruited her to his department in August 2020, when she was 21 and working as a lifeguard in town.
She accused him of letting her play his girlfriend in rolling training exercises as an excuse to touch her.
She said he texted her inappropriately, especially when he was drinking.
She said he also sent her a picture of himself shirtless in his bedroom.
“He asked me, ‘Do you date older men?’ She said. “And I told him, ‘No, I date people my age, not 50.’
Young said she was then faced with retaliation and demoted. She has also now filed a lawsuit accusing Hoots of sexual harassment and the precinct commanders of not doing enough to stop him.
Hoots was transferred from the Park Rangers division – and put back in charge of Signorino in the North County Precinct.
Signorino said Hoots was transferred over the sexual harassment complaint and ended up working with her again
Signorino said the last straw was instructed to lose 13 pounds while she was six months pregnant
Signorino was transferred again and sent to a precinct where she worked under the same people investigating the pornography incident, she said.
In her suit, Signorino said she lost income and worked the midnight shift, which made finding childcare difficult.
She tried unsuccessfully to be transferred from that district.
In April 2022, Hoots retired after 29 years of service.
In December 2022, Signorino had a semi-annual physical where a lieutenant told her she needed to lose 13 pounds because she was overweight.
She was then six months pregnant: the father is not specified.
In her lawsuit, Signorino is seeking unspecified damages in excess of $25,000.
Spokesman Doug Moore said the county is not commenting on pending litigation.