A longtime Tarrant County court clerk claims in a federal lawsuit that she was sexually harassed and assaulted by a judge and that after she attempted to end the abuse, he accused her of stealing and tried to fire her.
The clerk, Martha Kibler, claims Justice of the Peace Russ Casey pressured her to perform sexual acts in the Southlake sub courthouse where the two worked and that she gave county officials a semen-stained dress as proof. (See the lawsuit below)
NBC 5 does not generally identify alleged victims of sexual assault but Kibler’s name is listed in the public court filing and her attorney, Andrea Loveless, said Kibler does not object to her name being used.
Casey did not immediately respond to a request for comment and Tarrant County spokesman Marc Flake said the county had no comment on the case.
Kibler, a county employee for 22 years, started working as Casey’s court coordinator in January 2007, the lawsuit said.
The sexual abuse started about three years later when Kibler walked into Casey’s office to repay a “small, personal loan,” according to the claim.
“Judge Casey leaned back in his chair, unzipped his pants in front of Kibler, and exposed his penis” and demanded she perform a sexual act, the lawsuit alleges. “After Kibler said, ‘No’ and that she could not do that, Casey responded that he was good to her, had loaned her money and kept her employed and thus she had better return the favor. Kibler complied…”
The lawsuit claims a “pattern of sexual harassment and physical abuse” lasted five years and some of the sexual acts occurred “while he was wearing his judicial robe.”
Kibler said she complained twice to the Tarrant County Human Resources department but an investigation was never launched. In one case, Kibler said a human resources executive told her the judge was an elected official, so nothing could be done.
In December 2013, after Kibler’s only son died, she told the judge she wanted to stop performing sexual acts with him because “she felt like her son was watching from heaven,” according to the lawsuit.
“Judge Casey refused to take no for an answer,” the lawsuit said.
Kibler said Casey fired her, but county officials placed her on paid leave instead.
“Judge Casey himself then initiated a meritless investigation into Kibler’s employment with Tarrant County in an attempt to complete Kibler’s termination quickly,”
Kibler said she told county officials about the sexual abuse in August 2014.
“As proof, Kibler also provided Tarrant County with a dress and blouse she owned which possessed Judge Casey’s dried semen,” the lawsuit said.
Kibler still works for Tarrant County but has been assigned to a new job.
An audit of Casey’s office issued in November 2014 found that cash or checks were not always deposited into the judge’s account on a timely basis and that some information was not properly recorded in a computer program and did not always agree with information shown on canceled checks.
In responding to the audit, Casey wrote he asked for a “full financial audit” of his office after “uncovering a mismanagement of county deposits on the part of a staff member.”
His comments did not name the staff member.
“It appears that the employee was making a series of personal loans from the cash deposits by failing to actually deposit the money daily,” he said.
Casey added he was “determined to make sure that this cannot ever happen again.”
Loveless, the clerk’s attorney, questioned the timing of the audit and denied any suggestions that Kibler mishandled money.
“It was never brought up before she was terminated, only after she brought up the sexual harassment,” Loveless said.
Martha Kibler v. Tarrant County, Honorable Russ Casey
Auditor's Report: Financial Review of Justice of the Peace, Precinct 3