SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah) – She dreaded going to work.
The victim who doesn’t want her name released worked four years for American Loans in Murray and Sandy. Her boss was Jose “J.L.” Llavina, president of American Loans at the time. Llavina now serves as a consultant, according to a spokesman for American Loans.
He was criminally charged with sexual battery in January. From the outset, he claimed to be the victim and blamed it on a disgruntled employee. But in late August he pleaded no contest to the charges and was sentenced to jail. It’s still not over. The victim now has filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Llavina who was sentenced to jail for the criminal charges.
“I told him many times to stop and he didn’t,” the victim told Good4Utah.
She was in court when the judge sentenced Llavina to 90 days in jail.
Prior to sentencing Llavina told the judge: “I am sorry. I regret my behavior. I didn’t understand at the moment how upsetting this was (to victim).”
For the victim, hearing those words ended a year-long battle to restore her dignity.
“I did have a sense of relief, weight lifted off my shoulders,” she said.
The victim said it wasn’t easy going to work after he started making sexual advances.
“Everyday on my way to work I would hope he doesn’t come to my office,” she recalled. “I hope he doesn’t touch me.”
Even after he admitted guilt, he continued blaming the victim. During a pre-sentence interview with Adult, Probation and Parole, he blamed it on her. Judge Paul Parker saw the report and didn’t like it.
What helped the victim was a video recording. She had once planted a video recording device which caught the sexual harassment.
“The video is almost a poster child of sexual harassment in the workplace,” Judge Parker said during Llavina’s sentencing. “This whole statement seemed to be what it had done to you and not what it did to her.”
The victim said the 90-day jail sentence wasn’t important. She said what she wanted to hear was Llavina admitting guilt.
At first, she said it was difficult to tell anyone because of the shame she felt.
But she finally gained courage and told a close friend. The friend helped her in filing a police report. She finally realized this was the right thing to do.
“What gave me the courage was, he wasn’t going to stop. He wasn’t going to stop violating and I had to make a decision this was enough,” she said.
Llavina was spared from being listed on Utah’s sex offender registry. The crime of sexual battery doesn’t require it.
But the judge did impose one condition that will follow him in the workplace. Judge Parker ordered Llavina not to be alone with a woman alone without supervision. The judge said if that’s violated he’ll be back in jail serving the original sentence of two years in jail.