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Woman says fired Pistons assistant GM harassed her for months

A former Detroit Pistons employee says she was sexually harassed by team executive Rob Murphy over a period of months, leading to Murphy’s firing as assistant general manager Wednesday.

DeJanai Raska told the Detroit Free Press in a story published Thursday that Murphy committed multiple harassing acts after she started working as his executive assistant in September 2021, including grabbing her buttocks, groping her in front of her 4-year-old daughter and saying he wanted to “put a baby in her.” She also accused Murphy — then the president and general manager of the Pistons’ G League team — of trying to force her to have sex.

Raska, 32, is suing the Pistons and Murphy for sexual discrimination and harassment.

“Silence is not an option,” Raska told the newspaper. “It’s not for me. It shouldn’t be for any woman. … This is my chance to voice the truth … and to take my power back.”

Murphy was fired from his role as assistant general manager Wednesday, with the Pistons telling the Free Press in a statement that he was dismissed “for violation of company policy and the terms of his employment agreement.”

“The facts that gave rise to his termination surfaced during a review, assisted by a national law firm, of allegations made by a former employee,” the Pistons said.

Murphy, who did not respond to requests for comment from the Free Press, had been placed on leave in October at the start of the team’s investigation into the allegations. He had served as the assistant GM following a promotion in the 2022 offseason.

Raska told the newspaper that she was afraid to be fired if she came forward with her accusations. She said she lost her job in May 2022 when Murphy sent a fraudulent email to the team’s human relations department saying Raska had resigned.

She also accused the Pistons of not following through after she told team attorneys what happened, leading to her decision to sue.

“We came forward before filing a lawsuit with the goal of having the Pistons do the right thing,” said attorney Megan Bonanni, one of Raska’s lawyers, adding, “The organization condoned and approved and were complicit in what he did. And they were hoping that Ms. Raska would go away.”

Murphy, 50, had been the Pistons’ G League team president before he was promoted to assistant general manager in 2022.

He spent a decade as the head coach at Eastern Michigan before joining the Pistons. Like general manager Troy Weaver, Murphy is a former assistant coach at Syracuse, among other stops in the college ranks.

Reuters contributed to this report.

This story originally appeared on ESPN

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