Attorney: Victim hasn’t come to terms with alleged sexual assault at hands of former LV councilman

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Former Las Vegas City Councilman Steve Seroka and Marady Leary at a New York City event in November 2018. (Twitter)
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Former Las Vegas City Councilman Steve Seroka and Marady Leary at a New York City event in November 2018. (Twitter)

Marady Leary, the woman alleged by her attorney to have been sexually harassed and assaulted by former City of Las Vegas Councilman Steve Seroka, has not come to terms with her victimization, according to her attorney.

On Friday, Leary’s attorney Jason Guinasso distributed a news release alleging Leary had been sexually assaulted by Seroka, in contrast to Leary’s assertion to the Las Vegas Review-Journal that she had not been assaulted by Seroka.

“The news release is correct. If you look at the facts of what happened to her from the time she was hired until she was taken on this trip, there were concerted acts to groom her and victimize her,” Guinasso told the Current.

“When she was taken to New York she was taken out to dinner.  He got her drunk, she passed out and he had sex with her without her consent,” Guinasso alleges. “I think the issue is victims of sexual assault — a lot of time the victim blames themself for what happened.”

“My lawyers are taking the legal position I was intoxicated and unable to make a sound decision on what happened in the hotel room,” Leary told the Current via text.  “I told (the LVRJ) that Seroka did not force himself on me in New York City but that he should have not come into my hotel room when I was that drunk.”

“Marady had to go through a lot of counseling up until this point and I think she’s still struggling with it. She doesn’t remember a lot of what happened to her that night. What happened and who’s responsible for this is not Marady.  It’s Steve Seroka.”

“The position of power changes everything — how your communication is interpreted. There’s a higher degree of accountability and you have to be aware,” says Guinasso, who alleges in a complaint filed with the Nevada Equal Rights Commission and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that the city failed to train Seroka or respond to the attention he gave Leary.

“When Seroka was soliciting Marady to accompany him to special events, public outings — things that normally a person in her position wouldn’t have access to, the city had an obligation to do something,” Guinasso says.

Guinasso says the City of Las Vegas failed its obligation on a number of levels.

“The city promised the investigation would be confidential. That didn’t happen. There were leaks,” he says.

“A person working in Human Resources at the City released to the Press my picture and name which has been shared in our community so much that I must leave the State of Nevada to escape the torment and embarrassment the City has caused by the negligent manner in which the City has handled (or lack thereof) this complaint,” Leary wrote to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

“They said it would be a quick investigation and we still have no results and certain key people you’d think would be interviewed were not interviewed.  In my view the city’s completely botched not only the investigation but also its obligation to care for and protect Marady,” Guinasso alleged.

The City of Las Vegas is closed on Fridays. Officials were not available for comment.

Seroka did not respond to an email.

Dana Gentry
Reporter | Dana Gentry is a native Las Vegan and award-winning investigative journalist. She is a graduate of Bishop Gorman High School and holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Gentry began her career in broadcasting as an intern at Channel 8, KLAS-TV. She later became a reporter at Channel 8, working with Las Vegas TV news legends Bob Stoldal and the late Ned Day. Gentry left her reporting job in 1985 to focus on motherhood. She returned to TV news in 2001 to launch "Face to Face with Jon Ralston" and the weekly business programs In Business Las Vegas and Vegas Inc, which she co-anchored with Jeff Gillan. Dana is the mother of four adult children, three cats, three dogs and a cockatoo.

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