KVRR News, Fargo, ND.
KVRR News, Fargo, ND.
KVRR on Twitter KVRR on Facebook

Cass Co. Judge Accused of Sexual Harassment

Bookmark and Share

A Cass County District Judge lands himself in the middle of a sexual harassment investigation.


Judge Wickham Corwin is accused of creating an uncomfortable work environment for a female court employee, lasting for nearly a year.


The allegations unfolded after Corwin expressed negative issues regarding the victim's performance during a biennial performance review.

The North Dakota Supreme Court Administrator's Office spent nearly two months looking into the relationship between Corwin and one of the court employees.


According to the investigators' final report, Corwin's actions between July of 2010 and June of 2011 caused the victim to "dread coming to work and created a fear that she would lose her job" after "she turned down his request for an affair."


Documents say Corwin and the employee originally had a friendly relationship, but after a few lunches together, group happy hour outings, and a bike ride, Corwin invited the victim into his home, where he "indicated that he was attracted to her and wanted a more personal relationship." The victim "expressed reservations. They kissed and then he took her home."


This is when the alleged sexual harassment began.


Investigators say Corwin contacted the victim several times regarding their relationship.


Corwin told them, "He didn't like the awkwardness between them and tried to talk to her about it [...] He wanted their relationship to return to what it had been before the incident at his home."


He attempted to talk with her and invited her to lunch frequently. He would get angry when she refused, once sending her an expletive email saying, “Stop being so f***ing difficult."


To which she responded, "You told me to 'Stop being so f'g difficult.' I'm not being difficult. I'm trying to nicely tell you to back off. Please stop trying to 'plan' things to get me alone."

In another conversation he threatened her job saying, "If this was a private law practice, he would have taken care of the problem by now."


But the victim emailed him saying, "I avoid you because you won't stop trying to have ‘conversations’ with me about something that I dearly have told you more than once to just leave alone. We are COWORKERS. Start acting like it! [...] There is no 'problem,' other than that I didn't go along with your advances so now you are trying to make up problems to try and get rid of me."


The victim kept a written account with dates of all of their unusual encounters, saying at times, "I was scared, wanted to run."


She told investigators "She felt very uncomfortable in Judge Corwin's office and physically felt sick. That at one time she had to run to a bathroom to calm herself during a trial because she was having a panic attack because she felt so uncomfortable around him."


After speaking with both parties, and other employees and judges at the courthouse, investigators concluded that, "While Judge Corwin did not intend to threaten [the victim] or to make her work environment uncomfortable, his actions had that effect." And that his "repeated conversations and suggestions continued despite her explicit instruction to him to stop."


Judge Corwin and the victim have since been separated from working with each other, and plans have been made to move his chamber away from her office once courthouse construction is complete.


The victim does have the right to issue a civil complaint through the court if she desires.


The Supreme Court Administrators Office says they legally could not charge Corwin, as he is an elected official and not an employee.


The Cass County State's Attorney's Office says it has not received a criminal complaint on the matter.


Phone calls to Corwin were not returned.



40 Overdoses Reported Last Month in Fargo

Fargo public safety leaders are concerned about a report showing there were about 40 drug ...

McDonald's Theft in Devils Lake

A former McDonald's manager in Devils Lake is accused of stealing over ...

Attorney for Hockey Players Wants Gag Order

A defense attorney in the case of two hockey players accused of making a sex video ...

$1.4 Million Spent On Measure Ads  Oct. 23

No Determination Made in Hoffner Investigation  Oct. 23

$4.5 Million for Rural High-Speed Internet  Oct. 23

Change of Plea Hearing for West Fargo Mother  Oct. 22

Miss North Dakota Visits Kids At Sanford  Oct. 22

$900,000 Put Into Measure 2 Ads  story with video  Oct. 22

Caregivers Come To Learn  Oct. 22

Bringing Jimmy Fallon to Fargo  story with video  Oct. 22

Spell Changes Plea to Guilty  Oct. 22

Man Wanted for Drive-by Shooting, Captured  Oct. 22

Suspected Drug Dealer Gets $10,000 Back  Oct. 22

Marvin Windows Named "Most Ethical Large Company in America"  Oct. 22

Phone App Combats Binge Drinking  Oct. 22

Speed Up Flood Protection  story with video  Oct. 22

Masonic Temple Fire Ruled Suspicious  Oct. 22

Dead Baby Report Turns Out To Be a Doll  Oct. 22

New Coal Mine Approved for North Dakota  Oct. 22

Homeless Project Loan Denied  Oct. 22

KVRR News Archive

Bringing Jimmy Fallon to Fargo  story with video

Jimmy Fallon has taken the Tonight Show on the road to Chicago and Phoenix. ...

$900,000 Put Into Measure 2 Ads  story with video

The North Dakota Association of REALTORS has put nearly $1 ...

Speed Up Flood Protection  story with video

North Dakota's house majority leader proposes another $275 ...

Miss North Dakota Visits Kids At Sanford  Oct. 22

New Coal Mine Approved for North Dakota  Oct. 22

Phone App Combats Binge Drinking  Oct. 22

Change of Plea Hearing for West Fargo Mother  Oct. 22

Marvin Windows Named "Most Ethical Large Company in America"  Oct. 22

KVRR News Archive