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Ray v. State

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division

March 12, 2014

ROBIN RAY, Plaintiff,

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[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

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For ROBIN RAY, Plaintiff: Richard L. Darst, COHEN GARELICK & GLAZIER, Indianapolis, IN.

For STATE OF INDIANA, Defendant: Grant E. Helms, OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, Indianapolis, IN; Laura Lee Bowker, INDIANA ATTORNEY GENERAL, Indianapolis, IN.


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Hon. Tanya Walton Pratt, United States District Judge.


This matter is before the Court on the State of Indiana's (" State" ) Motion for Summary Judgment (Dkt. 65). This dispute stems from an array of allegations made by Plaintiff Robin Ray (" Ms. Ray" ) against her employer. Ms. Ray alleges race and sex discrimination and that she was demoted in retaliation for reporting sexual harassment of female employees and others by male employees and because she had two children in an interracial relationship. The State alleges that Ms. Ray led " a soap opera life" which was widely known and that she was not demoted based upon discrimination or in retaliation, but instead, for breaching confidentiality requirements and violating directives. For the reasons set forth below, the Motion is GRANTED.


A. Ms. Ray's Employment and Demotions

The following facts are undisputed and considered in the light most favorable to Ms. Ray, the non-moving party. The alleged events took place at the Madison Correctional Facility (" MCF" ) and adjacent facilities, which are part of the Indiana Department of Correction. In September 2006, Ms. Ray, a Caucasian female, began working at MCF as a correctional officer. In 2007, she entered into a relationship with Daniel Todd (" Mr. Todd" ), an African-American, and she became pregnant. At the time, a fellow staff member made a racial comment about Ms. Ray's baby and Ms. Ray complained. In November 2008, Ms. Ray was promoted to sergeant within MCF. In 2009, Ms. Ray became pregnant again by Mr. Todd. During this time period, Ms. Ray confided in her supervisor, Superintendent Jan Davis (" Ms. Davis" ), with details about her relationship with Mr. Todd, such as he was a binge drinker, that the two fought, and he had impregnated another woman. After learning of Ms. Ray's second pregnancy with Mr. Todd, Ms. Davis told Ms. Ray she was disappointed in her. Also in 2009, Ms. Ray attended correctional police training, which she finished in February 2010.

In September 2010, Ms. Ray began a sexual relationship with Shawn Smith (" Mr. Smith" ), an Internal Affairs (" IA" ) Officer for the Madison Correctional Juvenile Facility (" MCJF" ). Mr. Smith had been training or advising Ms. Ray and the two became close. In addition to his duties at the juvenile facility, Mr. Smith also served on a panel that considered Ms. Ray for a promotion to the position of IA officer for MCF. Mr. Smith was not, however, one of Ms. Ray's supervisors. Ms. Ray felt coerced into beginning the sexual relationship with Mr. Smith, but she did not report or complain about the relationship to anyone at MCF until several months after it ended. Ms. Ray broke off the relationship with Mr. Smith in December 2010 because she felt uncomfortable with the situation.

The State has limited state housing on the grounds of MCF. In November 2010, Ms. Ray requested to stay in the state housing apartments located on the MCF compound. Ms. Davis secured an apartment for Ms. Ray and her children, but verbally required that Mr. Todd not be present on facility grounds. Ms. Ray believes the agreement was that Mr. Todd could not live in the state apartment. On December 1, 2010, Ms. Ray filed for and received a protective order against Mr. Todd. In the protective order Ms. Ray stated under oath that Mr. Todd had shoved into her knocking her to the side,

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on numerous dates had sent excessive text and telephone messages (i.e., on November 12, 2010 Mr. Todd sent 123 texts and called her cell phone 57 times), and on two occasions she had called police to the scene of incidents involving Mr. Todd. On December 8, 2010, police were called to Ms. Ray's state apartment after she reported her Health Savings Account card had been stolen.

In January 2011, after Ms. Ray had broken off her relationship with Mr. Smith, she was promoted to an IA officer position. Around that time the protective order against Mr. Todd was withdrawn and a visitation agreement was worked out in state court whereby Mr. Todd would have parenting time and would babysit the children in Ms. Ray's home until he had suitable arrangements for the children to visit him.

In February 2011, Ms. Ray made a sexual harassment complaint to Human Resources due to the sexual relationship with Mr. Smith. There is no ...

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