Sexual discrimination lawsuit filed against Hinds County Sheriff Victor Mason

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) — Another lawsuit has been filed against Hinds County Sheriff Victor Mason.

Belendia Jones filed the lawsuit in the US. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi on February 21, 2017.

The damages in the lawsuit that Jones alleges date back to 2015.

The lawsuit states that Jones worked as a volunteer reserve deputy in Hinds County before Mason was sheriff. She said she began to volunteer for Mason’s campaign and said he was a family friend.

Jones said former Sheriff Tyrone Lewis informed her that should couldn’t volunteer anymore as a reserve deputy because she was volunteering on Mason’s campaign.

The lawsuit alleges that Mason told Jones he would hire her, make her a sergeant, and send her to the police academy to become a certified officer if he won the election. Jones said the two of them frequently talked during the campaign.

In Nov. of 2015, Mason was sworn in as the sheriff.

She is claiming that Sheriff Mason sent her numerous inappropriate text messages asking for sexual favors.

Jones said she was hired as a sergeant in the Background Investigations Department in January 2016. She said she was paid only half of what Mason promised her.

The lawsuit also claims that since she rejected the sexual favors that Mason allegedly demanded, she was demoted and given another job about six months later.

The document also says that after former Undersheriff Cheryl Matory had filed a lawsuit against Mason for sexual harassment, his actions towards her started to change.

Jones claimed that Mason told her he was going to rectify the situation. She said Mason said, “I will apologize if I was wrong.”

She said he told her that she would be receiving a call from the Hinds County Sheriff Department’s Training Director.

On Feb. 21, 2017, Jones alleged that she received a call from the director who scheduled an appointment to meet with her about becoming a certified law enforcement officer.

Jones is suing for compensatory and punitive damages.

Read the full lawsuit here.

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