EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

September 13, 2007

Married couple blames city for damaged sexual relations

METHUEN - The husband of a former City Hall secretary who claims she was sexually harassed by her boss wants money from the city, saying the inappropriate behavior damaged their sexual relationship.

Anthony Capanelli and his wife, Fulya Metin, have filed suit against Methuen, saying officials were negligent in dealing with her claims of sexual harassment against former City Solicitor Maurice Lariviere.

Among their claims is a loss of "consortium" - a spouse's right to companionship and sexual relations. Lariviere also is named as a defendant.

"Her damages, her injuries are ongoing," said the couple's lawyer Marsha Kazarosian. "Sexual harassment is something you don't escape from unscathed."

Capanelli, a convicted felon, was dating Metin while she was working in Methuen three years ago. Kazarosian said the two have since married and Metin now goes by the name Fulya Capanelli. Anthony Capanelli served time in a federal prison on charges of conspiracy to commit robbery.

Lariviere, who has his own lawsuit against the city, resigned in February 2005 after police confronted him with a surveillance tape of Lariviere making sexual advances toward Fulya Capanelli, who worked as his secretary.

Lariviere said the relationship was consensual and said he was threatened with arrest if he did not sign a prepared resignation letter. That is why he, too, has filed a separate lawsuit against the city.

The Capanellis' complaint said she did not know how to handle Lariviere's actions and was afraid of losing her job. She confronted police on Feb. 15, and police installed a hidden camera in the solicitor's office. They said Lariviere is shown kissing and making advances toward Capanelli.

Capanelli was unable to continue working and was placed on paid leave from Feb. 25, 2005, to June 4, 2005, at which point she was told to return to her job. She could not return to work, the complaint said.

"Lariviere and the city wrongfully and without cause forced Metin to resign by committing such deliberate actions that rendered Metin's work conditions intolerable," the complaint states.

As a result, her husband "sustained and continues to sustain the loss of the care, comfort, services and consortium of Metin." The complaint seeks lost wages, attorney fees and damages for intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence, negligent supervision, assault and battery and loss of consortium.

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