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Sexual harassment lawsuit filed against College of Southern Nevada, employee

CSN creates emergency fund for students
Posted at 8:39 AM, Feb 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-12 11:39:37-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — A sexual harassment lawsuit has been filed against the College of Southern Nevada and an employee of the college.

The lawsuit, filed by Lillian Babcock, accuses her direct supervisor Ricardo Villalobos of grooming her for sexual exploitation beginning in 2018.

READ THE LAWSUIT

Villalobos is the executive director for the Division of Workforce and Economic Development for the college.

Babcock began working for CSN in 2013. Villalobos was hired in 2017 and became her direct supervisor.

The lawsuit claims that Villalobos first invited her for drinks where he praised her for at CSN and predicted that she would continue to rise in her career.

He persuaded her to meet him weekly for drinks to discuss work, which included discussing strategy, contracts and other business.

During a trip to Rhode Island in 2018 for a conference, Villalobos reportedly invited her to his hotel room and made sexual advances.

Babcock did not report the incident because she feared retaliation.

In 2019, Villalobos reportedly touched Babcock’s leg and asked her for “just one kiss.”

That same year, CSN’s president had the position of Programs Director filled by a former work colleague named Belkiss Rodriguez.

The lawsuit claims that Rodriguez started harassing Babcock and made statements about Villalobos favoring Babcock and saying she had too much power.

Babcock asked Villalobos for help but he allegedly dismissed her complaints and told her to have empathy for Rodriguez.

Babcock went to Human Resources in late December or January 2020 and was told to be more assertive and to read material such as “Verbal Judo” and “What is Healthy Confrontation and Dealing with Difficult People.”

CSN’s Human Resources reportedly took no action to investigate the allegations of harassment.

On May 23, 2020, Villalobos invited Babcock to join him for drinks at a relative’s house. He reportedly asked her to cuddle with him while at the residence.

On June 6, Babcock asked Villalobos about a job promotion and was reportedly told that she needed to worry about Rodriguez and he could do nothing about the other woman’s hostile behavior.

On July 5, Babcock filed another complaint with Human Resources and informed Villalobos the next day that she was prepared to lodge a complaint against him.

Villalobos then reportedly told Babcock that she would not be getting the promotion.

The lawsuit alleges that CSN knew that Villalobos engaged with sexual relations with other employees and that he was attempting to obtain sexual favors from Babcock.

13 Action News reached out to CSN for comment and was told:

CSN does not comment on pending litigation. Pursuant to the Nevada System of Higher Education Code, Title 2, Chapter 5.6.2(b), CSN can confirm that Ricardo Villalobos and Lilian Babcock are currently CSN employees.