Produce Supervisor Accused of Sexual Misconduct-Harassment
A supervisor at a Prosser produce company is in the Benton County jail on a variety of sexual harassment charges towards a 17-year-old female who worked there.
The woman at first was unwilling to report the incidents because she feared no one would believe her, but finally she did, and this week the man was arrested. The suspect, Hugo Merino Sanchez, became allegedly "infatuated" with the girl after she asked him to relocate her to another work area. She said she'd been the subject of a variety of sexually explicit and unwanted comments from male co-workers.
The woman had started working there in early September of this year.
Then Sanchez allegedly made numerous sexual advances towards the girl, including grabbing her various times, including kissing her neck, and touching her chest. He also, said the victim, offered to rent her an apartment in return for sexual favors. She also said he often would refuse to let her out of his sight.
Sanchez, who has worked at Hartley Produce on East Reese Road for 19 years, is facing various felony charges. The actual physical incidents occurred between September 21 and 25th, prompting the girl to tell her grandmother (who also works there) as well as authorities.