Last week, a 45-year-old furniture deliveryman for City Furniture was arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting a female customer in her Palm Beach County home in June. Richard Omar Fisher was arrested on August 31 and charged with battery and sexual assault on a person 18 years or older.
A 23-year-old woman contacted law enforcement on June 6, telling officials with the sheriff's office that she had moved into a third-floor apartment three days earlier. She said that she had ordered several pieces of furniture for delivery from City Furniture. Two deliverymen, one of them Fisher, arrived to deliver a love seat, mattress, and box spring.
The woman told sheriff's officials that one of the two deliverymen left the apartment and that Fisher stayed to take photos of the delivered furniture for proof that it had been properly installed. While he was taking photos in the living room, she commented that if she had his job, she would quit because of the heat. According to the sheriff's office, he replied, "If I quit my job, are you going to take care of me?" She responded by jokingly pointing towards the extra bedroom, alluding that he could sleep there.
He reportedly responded, "No, that's your daughter's room. I'm going to sleep in the room with you."
The woman told authorities that after this exchange, they went to the bedroom to take more photos of the furniture in that room. She said she hadn't gotten a chance to test out the new mattress because she had ordered it online, and laid on the mattress on her back.
When she laid down, Fisher reportedly asked, "Oh, can we fit on here together?" and then got on top of her, kissing and fondling her, according to the sheriff's office. The woman resisted, pulled away and said "No" several times and that she needed to go see her 3-year-old daughter, who was crying in the next room.
The woman told investigators that an AT&T serviceman arrived to install equipment and that Fisher left at this point. She said that she called a friend to tell her about the alleged assault, then contacted City Furniture. She picked Fisher out of a photo lineup as the man who allegedly assaulted her.
The sheriff's office got a warrant to collect DNA from Fisher and compared it to a sample found on the woman. The results showed that the sample likely belonged to Fisher.
According to Fisher's arrest report, he and the other deliveryman had been suspended after the woman contacted City Furniture.
Attorney contributor Michael Haggard represents survivors in civil lawsuits against sexual predators and negligent third parties. Here is Michael with some general information on the legal rights of people who have been sexually assaulted by delivery employees:
Companies that employ delivery employees have a responsibility to make sure that those employees are trustworthy people. These employees will be trusted in the homes of customers, so safeguards must be in place to protect those customers from the threat of sexual predators.
When a customer reports being sexually assaulted by a deliveryman, both the accused and the company must be investigated. The police will handle the criminal investigation, while a sexual assault victims attorney can investigate the company to determine if any form of negligence was to blame for allowing the assault to happen.
In cases involving negligence, the victim may have grounds for a lawsuit against the company.
If you or a loved one has been sexually assaulted by a deliveryman, you can learn more about your legal rights by speaking with an experienced sexual assault victims lawyer.