Doctor’s lawsuit against AIDS agency settled

A federal lawsuit filed by Dr. Emmanuella Cherisme against AIDS Care Group recently was settled, according to court papers.

Terms of the settlement weren’t available and neither side had a comment for this story.

Cherisme’s 2015 lawsuit alleged she was fired from her job at AIDS Care Group after refusing the sexual advances of a supervisor. But AIDS Care Group maintained Cherisme was fired because her job performance was lacking and she had poor interpersonal skills with colleagues and superiors. 

Founded in 1998, AIDS Care Group provides a wide array of services to people with HIV/AIDS, with offices in Delaware and Berks counties. 

Cherisme, 45, of Middletown, worked at AIDS Care Group from April 2013 to January 2014. She was hired to help the agency expand its women’s healthcare program.

According to Cherisme’s suit, her supervisor sexually harassed her for several months, until she electronically blocked his calls and texts, thus triggering her firing. The alleged harassment at AIDS Care Group caused Cherisme to suffer from depression, a medical condition that lingers to this day, Cherisme said in a deposition. 

Cherisme turned down a good job offer in Ohio due to the opportunity to work at AIDS Care Group, only to be mistreated there, according to her deposition. 

Cherisme allegedly was subjected to racially offensive comments at AIDS Care Group, despite her philanthropic efforts to build a hospital in Haiti, which has a high incidence of AIDS cases. 

In defense papers, AIDS Care Group argued that Cherisme’s alleged harasser was merely a coworker — not a supervisor — and that their sexual encounters were consensual.