A $250,000 civil lawsuit has been filed by sex crimes investigator Detective Christopher Shermer of the Missoula Police Department.

The lawsuit claims that a female superior officer, Lieutenant Sandy Kosena, grabbed his buttock and made a suggestive comment in Shermer's ear.

Jim Nugent is the Missoula City Attorney. He said the State of Montana Human Rights Bureau had already denied Shermer's claim of sexual harassment in 2012 due to lack of evidence.

Nugent says the incident in question was precipitated when Shermer flipped off Lt. Kosena earlier in the day, and that Kosena's subsequent action was merely a response to that initial incident.

The lawsuit alleges that Kosena received light disciplinary action at the time, while Shermer argued that a male officer who did the same thing to a female officer would have been punished far more severely.

Shermer has asked for a jury trial in Missoula District Court.

Missoula City Attorney Jim Nugent