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Resort owner accused of harassment

A former employee at the Port Paradise Resort has sued the resort's longtime owner, saying he sexually harassed her while she worked at Kokomo's Lounge.

Gina Louise Love of Crystal River is suing James Dicks for more than $15,000 for the harassment she says she endured while a bartender and blackjack dealer at Kokomo's, according to the lawsuit filed this month in Citrus County Circuit Court.

Love is asking that the matter be resolved by a jury trial and is seeking punitive and other damages.

Love was hired at Kokomo's in October 1993 and left in May. The lawsuit does not detail the circumstances under which Love left. Efforts to reach Love or her attorney, James Cummins, were unsuccessful.

According to the lawsuit, Dicks required Love to work directly for him and attempted to force himself on her sexually. Love also alleges that Dicks, on numerous occasions, inappropriately touched her and made unwanted sexual advances and comments to her while she was working.

In the lawsuit, Love also accuses Dicks of sexually assaulting her and tearing her uniform.

Dicks denies the accusations. His attorney, Richard "Spike" Fitzpatrick, asked a judge last week to dismiss the suit.

Fitzpatrick says in a motion filed Friday that the lawsuit does not contain specific facts that speak to any injuries Love has suffered because of Dicks' actions. He also says that the lawsuit does not refer to the company's correct name, is contradictory and fails to show why Love deserves punitive damages.

A hearing is scheduled at 1:45 p.m. Sept. 5 with Circuit Judge Patricia Thomas.

"It's without merit," Dicks said Monday. He declined to elaborate because the case is pending.