CHICAGO (CBS) — Serious allegations against the bosses of a well-known anti-violence group.
Several women said they were sexually assaulted and harassed. One state lawmaker is now deciding whether to continue her support of the group formerly called Ceasefire.
In February of 2017 Angalia Bianca worked dangerous streets trying to prevent violence.
“I’m never afraid,” Bianca said adding that she relished the work for the group Ceasefire.
“I’ve completely 100 percent dedicated my life to the inner-city streets.”
But inside the Ceasefire offices, Bianca said her life was made miserable by a supervisor.
“Cobe Williams sexually assaulted me in the workplace on several occasions,” Bianca said.
Cobe is Ricardo “Cobe” Williams, a senior administrator at Ceasefire, which is now called Cure Violence.
“Following his sexual advances Cobe began to harass me because I did not comply,” she said.
Bianca has filed a federal lawsuit against Williams, his boss, the creator of the program, Gary Slutkin and the University of Illinois at Chicago. Cure Violence is part of the UIC School of Public Health.
“Before I could get another word out, he was literally in my seat on top of me and had shoved his tongue down my throat,” said Lakisha McGowan.
Several women allege they too were sexually harassed by Williams, and that his bosses turned a blind eye.
“They all said, I overreacted,” said Ameena Matthews.
The group, which was the subject of an acclaimed documentary, gets six million dollars in taxpayer funds from the state of Illinois.
“I’m disappointed, sad, disgusted,” said Illinois State Representative Kelly Cassidy, who pushed for those funds. But on Wednesday, she stood with the alleged victims to demand answers.
“They need to get it together. They need to repair the harm they have done,” Cassidy said.
UIC responded by saying it takes all allegations of sexual misconduct seriously, adding the university has received one charge of misconduct at Cure Violence and the university is investigating.