Jury finds Niner Winery owner not guilty of sexual harassment
This case was reported in this blog on March 12, 2009 and now the verdict is in. Not guilty of sexual harassment and creating a hostile work environment. After deliberating less than a day, a San Luis Obispo County California jury found Niner winery owner not guilty of sexually harassing Tammi Herron, a former employee of his company. Tammi Herron 44, a part-time hand model and single mother of two, alleged her former boss, Dick Niner, had made unwanted sexual advances toward her while she was working as a sales representative for his Niner Wine Estates company in 2007.
The jury found neither party’s story about what happened to be completely credible, according to two jurors, Kelley Day, 39, of Arroyo Grande, and Bettina Evans, 52, of Shell Beach, who spoke to The Tribune after the verdict was read. Dick Niner claimed he never kissed or had any contact with Herron. Herron claimed they kissed and Dick Niner wanted more including a sexual relationship.
Day, who was the jury foreman, added, “There was a lot of debate on how much his advances were actually ‘unwanted.’ … No one had a whole lot of sympathy for her. We felt she worked the situation.
Herron’s argument that working at Niner Wine Estates was creating unreasonable demands on her at Pam Niner’s bidding also did not fly, Evans said.