Wynn accused again of sexual misconduct

LAS VEGAS (AP) —A massage therapist has claimed in a new lawsuit that casino mogul Steve Wynn used his power to coerce her into sexual acts, making her the latest woman to accuse the billionaire of sexual misconduct.

Wynn forced her into sexual acts about a dozen times in 2011-2012 while she was an employee of Wynn Resorts, giving her a $1,000 “tip” after each massage and telling her to never to talk about it, according to the lawsuit filed Wednesday in Nevada by an unnamed 49-year-old woman.

Wynn’s spokesman, Ralph Frammolino, did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.

Wynn has denied the previous misconduct accusations and attributed them to a campaign led by his ex-wife. Her attorney has denied that she instigated a Wall Street Journal story in late January that reported a number of women said he harassed or assaulted them and that one case led to a $7.5 million settlement.

Wynn resigned as chairman and CEO of Wynn Resorts on Feb. 6, less than two weeks after the story broke.

The new lawsuit came after authorities revealed this week that two women filed police reports against Wynn in Las Vegas over allegations dating from the 1970s. A woman told police she had a child with casino mogul Steve Wynn after he raped her, while another reported she was forced to resign from a Las Vegas job after she refused to have sex with him.

The massage therapist is also suing Wynn Resorts’ board of directors, accusing them of being liable because they should have reasonably known that Steve Wynn was a “danger to female employees.”

Wynn Resorts spokesman Michael Weaver said Thursday the company had no immediate comment because it had not reviewed the lawsuit.

The woman said in the lawsuit that she was hired in 2005 by Wynn Resorts as a massage therapist. Starting around 2011, Wynn began making regular appointments for her to give him massages in his office, she said.

The first two massages were normal, but then Wynn began exposing himself to her after he learned that she was financially dependent on the job because she was going through a divorce and would soon become a single mother, the woman said in the lawsuit.

During the sessions, the door was locked with security and dogs outside guarding the room. She declined some of his sexual requests, but said she thought she would be fired if she did not agree to do certain things.

She doesn’t remember exactly how many times she was forced into the acts, but estimates about a dozen, her attorneys Justin Watkins and Matthew Hoffmann said Thursday. The final occurrence came in 2012, but she continued to experience emotional distress and a hostile work environment until she left the company last year, they said.

The woman decided to file the lawsuit after seeing media reports and court filings that made her realize she wasn’t alone and that the Wynn Resorts’ board of directors must have known, Watkins and Hoffman said.

The lawsuits adds to a host of legal challenges facing Wynn and his former company since news report in January revealed sexual misconduct allegations against the billionaire.

Wynn Resorts is facing scrutiny by gambling regulators in Nevada and Massachusetts, where the company is building a roughly $2.4 billion casino just outside Boston. Regulators in Macau, the Chinese enclave where the company operates two casinos, are also inquiring about the allegations.

In addition, groups of shareholders have filed lawsuits in state court in Las Vegas accusing Wynn and the board of directors of Wynn Resorts of breaching their fiduciary duties by ignoring what the lawsuits described as a longstanding pattern of sexual abuse and harassment by the company’s founder.

By Patricia Older

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