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August 2004

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  Publican Guilty of Sex Harassment AU (VIC) 11 AUG

August 2004

Publican Guilty of Sex Harassment

AUSTRALIA, Victoria - A Victorian publican who told people that one of his workers "likes boys" has been found guilty of sexual harassment, reports News Ltd.

The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal found Rodney Keogh, the former manager of Wodonga's City Hall Hotel, had discriminated against the 19-year-old male worker and encouraged another man to do so.

The tribunal heard that after an all night drinking session in November 2002, Keogh's friend, Gavin Levy, had unbuttoned his pants and asked the worker if he wanted to "play a game". Keogh later asked the worker: "What do you think of my friends? They're pretty cute aren't they?"

The tribunal heard the worker had only recently decided he was gay, and that the publican had commented from time to time about his sexual orientation.

Keogh and Levy denied they had been drinking, and claimed they had not harassed the food and beverage attendant.

VCAT vice president, Judge Barry Dove, said he accepted the evidence of the employee over that of Keogh and his friend. "I am left with the overwhelming impression that they put their heads together and came up with a pack of lies," he said.

Judge Dove found the worker, who left town after the incident, had suffered psychological damage as a result of the harassment. However, he was satisfied the damage was relatively short-lived, and had subsided three to four months after he moved to Melbourne from the NSW border town.

The worker was awarded $8500 in damages and lost wages.

Keogh is no longer manager of the City Hall Hotel, which has been renamed the Three Monkeys.

(News Limited 11 August 2004 - Ben Packham
by way of - Senator Brian Greig)