No charges against city manager accused of forcing employee to have sex

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FRUITLAND PARK, Fla. —

State prosecutors announced on Wednesday that Fruitland Park City Manager Ralph Bowers would not be charged following allegations he raped a city employee.

Bowers has been on leave since the allegations surfaced in November.

Wednesday night, the attorney for the worker Bowers admitted to having sex with said the battle has just begun.

"To be honest, I am quite shocked at the level of inaction by the city of Fruitland Park," said attorney Thomas Luka.

The woman who brought the allegations against Bowers told authorities they had an affair that went on for two years. But she said the relationship turned from consensual to forced sex when she tried to end it.

Bowers confessed to the sex, and to giving her money and gifts.

Now the woman's attorney has notified the city of their plans to file two lawsuits in federal and state courts.

"Our claims are about the abuse of power, and lack of institution control, and the simple blindness of city officials in the face of extremely serious allegations," said Luka.

Luka said city leaders first learned of the inappropriate relationship last June, but didn't do anything to stop it.

The woman later told investigators Bowers threatened to fire her if she didn't continue having sex with him.

But prosecutors said because she initially denied the relationship, and admitted some of it was consensual, they cannot prove there was ever a rape.

City commissioners have taken the first steps toward firing Bowers, and Thursday night they plan to discuss the issue at the City Commission meeting.