A Davenport woman is claiming parish administrators at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Bettendorf created “a sexually hostile atmosphere for women,” according to a lawsuit filed this week in Scott County District Court.

Blake Parker, a Clinton attorney, filed the lawsuit on behalf of 55-year-old Tammie Picton, who was a maintenance worker at the church. Parker couldn't be reached immediately for comment.

The suit claims Picton was assaulted by a male co-employee at work on Sept. 14, 2012, and reported the incident to the parish priest. The suit further claims that nothing was done to rectify the situation.

The suit also claims Picton was chased out of her work area by another male co-employee on Oct. 20, 2011, and reported that incident to the parish priest. Despite being told the co-employee would no longer be on the parish maintenance staff, he remained on site while Picton was working, the suit claims.

“This is one of the saddest things in my life I’ve ever had to do,” Picton said when reached by phone Tuesday.

The Diocese of Davenport and Our Lady of Lourdes Church are listed as defendants.

“The Diocese of Davenport received notice of the filing yesterday,” diocese spokesman Deacon David Montgomery said Wednesday. “Since this is an active case involving litigation, the diocese cannot offer further comment.”

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