Utah Firefighter Files $1.2 Million Suit Over Sexual Assaults

A former Utah firefighter has filed a $1.2 million suit in federal court alleging she was sexually harassed and raped by an assistant chief.

Valerie Engstrom claims Assistant Fire Chief Austin James Corry of the Kanosh Volunteer Fire Department harassed her over an extended period of time, and then raped her on three separate occasions. Engstrom alleges she reported the harassment to the fire chief, Scott Corry, the father of the accused.

According to the complaint, Scott Corry merely advised Engstrom to avoid Austin Corry but did nothing to investigate or stop the harassment from progressing to rape. Quoting from the complaint: “Scott Corry took no action and allowed the sexual harassment, assaults, and ultimate rapes, to happen unfettered.”

The suit names the Austin Corry, Scott Corry, the Town of Kanosh, and Millard County. The county was brought into the case because Scott Corry is a Sergeant with the Millard County Sheriff’s office besides being Kanosh’s fire chief. Engstrom accuses Millard County of negligence claiming “By permitting its employee, Sergeant Scott Corry to serve a dual role of Millard County Sherriff and Kanosh Fire Chief, Millard County sanctioned an environment wherein Plaintiff’s complaints were hushed at the source.”

The eight-count complaint alleges civil rights violations, false imprisonment, intentional infliction of severe emotional distress, battery, sexual assault, and negligent hiring, supervision and retention. Austin Corry is currently facing four felony rape charges, five felony sexual abuse charges, and five misdemeanor sexual battery charges.

The suit was filed yesterday. Here is a copy of the complaint:

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.
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