HEMPSTEAD - The woman who accused Hempstead Town Clerk Mark Bonilla of sexually harassing her took the stand against him as his misconduct trial began today.
As News 12 Long Island has reported, Mark Bonilla is accused of sexually harassing employee Ariel Davis, then trying to solicit intimate photos and videos of her to use as blackmail. Prosecutors say the town clerk did everything he could to silence the woman after she filed a harassment suit against him last year.
As the trial got underway today, prosecutors said they would present a long list of evidence against Bonilla, including text messages from him to other employees about obtaining the intimate materials. The prosecution is also expected to show video of Bonilla touching Davis.
The district attorney told the judge that Bonilla threatened Davis' boyfriend, who is also a town employee, with a demotion if he didn't hand over the photos.
Davis took the stand after opening arguments, detailing how she met Bonilla at a town event in 2010. She says he asked her that day if she'd like to transfer to his office.
Bonilla's attorney said the focus shouldn't be on Davis' harassment suit, but instead on whether he is guilty of misconduct.
Bonilla has refused to step down from office despite calls for his resignation.