Former LANL Emergency Division Leader faces assault, battery charges

-A A +A

LANL > Lawyer says her client, Anthony Stanford, retired from his job last month

By John Severance

Anthony Stanford, formerly the Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Emergency Operations division leader, was charged with two counts each of assault and battery Monday.

Stanford, 56, of Santa Fe, was charged after he allegedly sexually harassed a female co-worker for several months at the lab.

Lab spokesman Kevin Roark said, “Mr. Stanford is not currently an employee of the laboratory.  As general policy, because of employee privacy, the laboratory does not discuss personnel matters.”

Attorney Kate Ferlic, who is representing the woman along with attorney John Day of Santa Fe, said, “To demonstrate the severity of the harassment: it’s a rare thing when the police file criminal charges against the perpetrator.”

Stanford’s attorney Laurie Gallegos said her client retired from the lab last month.

Gallegos said in a written statement, “We understand that information regarding allegations made by an employee of the laboratory, who did not work directly for Mr. Stanford, have been released to the news media.

“Mr. Stanford acknowledges receipt of a summons by the Los Alamos Magistrate Court on petty misdemeanor charges of assault and battery. Mr. Stanford was not arrested, voluntarily provided a statement to the authorities, has produced and will continue to produce, extensive evidence supporting his innocence with regard to these charges.”

The woman, who is accusing Stanford, met with Los Alamos Police Detective Oliver Morris Jan. 14 and detailed several alleged incidents involving Stanford.

The woman said the harassment began with a comment he made in a parking lot outside of work. She stated Stanford told her that he found her very attractive and if she wasn’t married he would pursue her hard. The woman told Stanford that she was happily married. Stanford then allegedly made another comment that she was a “sensuous and sensual woman” and he told her he was having a hard time concentrating when she was around.

She said Stanford told her that he had not had a crush like this in 30 years and made a lewd comment. The woman told Stanford he was disgusting and she walked away.

The woman said after a month that Stanford began to proposition her and she maintained she always declined his requests. She said on some occasions, he would touch her leg on the knee area when they were driving together in a LANL vehicle for work purposes, but she would remove his hand and tell him, “Don’t.”

The woman said the situation was difficult because her husband worked at the lab as well.

The woman then detailed an incident on Nov. 28 of last year when she and Stanford drove to get radios and vests. When going back down the elevator, she claimed she was pinned against the wall. The woman then panicked and she shoved him off of her. After she yelled to get off of her, then he reportedly said, “you can’t blame a guy for trying.”

The second incident the woman reported occurred Dec. 17. She said Stanford gave her a Christmas gift of two women’s watches. According to the police report, Stanford told her one watch she could tell her husband about but the second was to be kept secret because it was more expensive.

The woman stated she was in his office and Stanford then asked her what she was going to give him. She replied “nothing” and Stanford said she could at least give him a kiss or a hug. The woman then said Stanford attempted to try and pin her up against the wall a second time but she saw it coming and she ducked under his arms and left the office.

The woman told police about the negative effect the situation had on her personal life and then she sent the police some emails from Stanford. She also filed a complaint with the LANL Human Resources office.

Stanford and his attorney met with Morris Jan.24. Stanford said, “ We didn`t travel that often in the car together —I recall it being less than five to six times, and I only remember touching her leg once. “

Morris then asked Stanford about any car rides with the woman and he said, “I think I touched her on the thigh before when we were kidding around.”

Stanford said she would be in a laughing fashion during this time and he said he would make a joke, a little off-colored and “she would say, you’re incorrigible and start laughing.”

Morris then asked about the elevator incident.

According to the report, Stanford said he put one hand up on the wall near her and said, “Have you ever done it in an elevator?” and that the woman then pushed him back and said there could be cameras in there. Stanford then said he told her there were no cameras.

Morris stated in the report, “I then asked him if (she) stated that you (Stanford) placed both hands on the wall on either side and there was contact made on her body, is she lying?”

The police report indicated Stanford replied, “I can`t tell you if she is lying or not but that is not the way I remember it.”
Morris then asked Stanford if it was possible that he did touch her and he said no and later said she touched me by pushing him away.

Morris asked Stanford if he ever propositioned the woman for sex and he said he did and she replied, “Not going to happen.” Morris asked if there was any other kind of physical contact other than hugs or him touching her leg and he replied no.

Morris then asked about the watches. Stanford said he told her to swing by his office and that he had something for her. He said he gave them to her in his office and his door was left open. Stanford said two co-workers were in the office at the time and one of them said that she did not see the woman enter Stanford’s office.

Stanford said he gave her the watches and asked “what are you going to give me?” Stanford said she replied, “Nothing.”

He then said while joking, “Well that wasn`t very nice you could at least give me a hug or a kiss.”

According to the report, Morris asked Stanford if he tried to hug the woman or if she tried to get away from him in any way and he said no. Stanford then was asked if the woman was lying and he said she “was not telling the truth.”

Meanwhile, the woman also applied for a restraining order against Stanford.

Gallegos said the judge denied a restraining order but agreed to a no-contact order as agreed to by Stanford.

In the affidavit, the woman said Stanford wanted to have an affair with her and repeatedly asked her for sex. She also said that Stanford promised her a management position if she would agree to have an affair or sex with him.

Ferlic, meanwhile, said her client is contemplating a civil suit.

“As the police report shows, the Los Alamos Police believe he battered her twice in connection with the sexual harassment,” Ferlic said.  “In addition, however, Mr. Stanford subjected her to severe verbal harassment and touching.

For example, during a district court hearing he told the judge that he asked the victim for sex at least once or twice per week.

“This is a man who had the victim’s fate in his hands and he abused that power, subjecting her to significant emotional and psychological damage.”

Arraignment for Stanford is set for March 4 in the Los Alamos Magistrate Court before judge Pat Casados.