Many citizens have said that they have been raped by the IRS, but Vincent Burroughs, of Fall Creek, Ore., means it a bit more literally. He insists that he was coerced into sex against his will by IRS agent Dora Abrahamson, who allegedly threatened him with heaving tax fines unless he slept with her.
If the allegations are found to be true, Abrahamson clearly acted inappropriately and should be fired. However, is this sexual assault?
Burroughs says he first met Abrahamson when she informed him that he was being audited by the IRS. He says that she then began sending text messages about wanting to come over and give him massages to “help [him] relax.” He said that this continued for a couple of months, including racy photos of Abrahamson being sent to him. He said that she told him that she knew everything that he had done and “she knew more than my mother knew about me.”
He alleges in the lawsuit that Abrahamson then showed up at his house in revealing attire — honking at his gate. This September 2011 encounter led to his letting her into his home and allegedly threatening about waiving or imposing a penalty. The complaint states “She told (Burroughs) that she could be a bitch, or that she could be nice . . . She said that she could impose no penalty, or a 40 percent penalty, and that if he would give her what she wanted, she would give him what he needed.”
He says that he had sex with her because he was “sexually harassed and intimidated.”
The federal lawsuit clearly raised troubling issues. Had this been a woman being harassed by a male agent, this would not be viewed as a close question for sexual harassment. Should it be any different for a man?
The sexual harassment of the texts, if proven, would be classic forms of harassment. However, Burroughs agreed to let in the agent into his home and then had sex with her. He could have refused to open his gate. He could have reported the agent to the IRS. Should his failure to take such steps bar recovery for the sex as opposed to the text messages and threats?