Sexual Harassment Trial Gets Underway 

A woman suing a convicted rapist and her former employer for sexual harassment, took the stand at a trial in Ellsworth Wednesday.Patty Smith worked at Manset Yacht Service in Southwest Harbor.So did Peter Mills. He was convicted of drugging and raping three women in 2005.Now Smith alleges that Mills and the Boatyard owner, Robert Brown subjected her to almost daily harassment.On the stand, Patty Smith testified that the alleged harassment she endured while working at Manset Yacht Service in 2004 and 2005 made her feel “terrible, humiliated and degraded”.She says that defendants Peter Mills, who was an employee at Manset Yacht, and owner Bob Brown often talked explicitly about female body parts, and Brown would look through lingerie magazines suggesting the outfits become the uniforms for female employees.Smith left for a time, but returned to work at the boatyard, because she says Mills was not working there. He was eventually rehired as her boss.Smith says when she complained and asked Brown to put an end to the harassment she was told to “get over it”.Smith says she eventually resigned after Mills physically assaulted her in July 2005.A counselor took the stand, saying he diagnosed Smith with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder related to the alleged harassment.Brown’s attorney, tried to poke holes in his story along with Smith’s.He suggests the PTSD diagnosis can be tied to assaults that happened before Smith ever worked at the boatyard.Then it was time for Mills, who is representing himself to question, Smith.Something that was difficult for Smith’s family to watch.”Very difficult because I don’t think he should have been able to go up there and ask the questions.”They say the last five years have been difficult for Smith, but she just wanted to get her day in court to face her alleged perpetrators.”I can’t reiterate again how proud I am of her what a giant step she’s taken not only for her and her family that’s present but also for the women not only in the area but statewide and hopefully nationwide someday.””that’s the big cause, she’s trying to get across, is to help the other woemn who come behind her in these situations. I think she did that and I’m proud of her.”Another woman who also worked at the boatyard, testified Wednesday, saying she also witnessed harassment by the defendants.Brown has filed a countersuit, alleging the complaints are false and have hurt his business.The trial recessed on Wednesday. No date has been set for it to resume.