WARREN — The state paid $395,000 to settle a lawsuit on behalf of a corrections officer who said she endured a hostile work environment because of her gender and sexual orientation while working at the Maine State Prison and Bolduc Correctional Facility.

Autumn Dinsmore, who filed the lawsuit in July 2021 in federal court in Bangor, resigned as a corrections officer on June 3 as part of the settlement.

Neither side admitted wrongdoing.

The Maine Human Rights Commission found in January 2021 that there were reasonable grounds to believe the Maine Corrections Department created a hostile work environment and treated Dinsmore differently than other corrections officers.

The lawsuit alleged that Dinsmore was a frequent recipient of unwanted sexual overtures from male officers, including officers who sent photos of their genitalia on Snapchat and who pressured her to send nude photos of herself in return.

Dinsmore and other female officers also overheard male officers making inappropriate comments about having sex with female officers and talking about competing to see who could sleep with a new female officer first, according to the lawsuit, which is dismissed as part of the settlement.

“This refusal of her male co-workers and supervisors to accept (the woman’s) sexual orientation is consistent with the workplace culture of treating women COs as sexual objects, and the traditional ideology that true lesbians are unlikely to exist because women cannot resist sexual attraction to men,” the lawsuit said.

The state will pay Dinsmore $235,000, while $160,000 will go to Johnson & Webbert LLP of Augusta, the law firm that represented her.

The state released the settlement agreement Tuesday at the request of The Courier-Gazette. The agreement prohibits both sides from discussing it.

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