06/21/2012 12:33PM

Parx sex harassment ban upheld


The Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission at a meeting on Thursday upheld a decision by Parx Racing in Philadelphia to ban trainer Juan Carlos Guerrero for 10 years after he was accused of “inappropriately touching” a racing office employee, according to Guerrero’s attorney.

The attorney, Bill Goldman, said immediately after the meeting that the decision “shocks the conscience.” He said that he had not yet been given a hearing officer’s report on which the commission based its decision, and said that he would not comment about any future plans to appeal the decision until he has a chance to review the report and speak with Guerrero.

Guerrero was ejected by Parx Racing management on Dec. 20 after a 23-year-old racing-office bookkeeper, Stephanie Smith, alleged that he kissed her on the mouth and touched her on the buttocks while hugging a month earlier. Guerrero, the leading trainer at Parx in 2011, admitted during a hearing in January in front of the commission to “playfully patting” Smith on the buttocks and giving her a hug and kiss, but he denied kissing her on the mouth.

In implementing the ban, Parx had said that Guerrero was a “potential threat to all the women of our backstretch.”

Goldman had argued during the January hearing that Parx was seeking to eject Guerrero because of his success at the track. At the time of the ban, his 2011 record at the track was 131 wins from 386 starters, with earnings of $3.1 million.