‘What are you going to do for me?’; Local woman says utility worker tried to sexually coerce her, threatened her over late bill
- Lauren Trager
- Updated 24 min ago | Posted on Jul 9, 2019
- Courtesy of KMOV
While journalistic responsibilities demand that I make it cleared that these are alleged charges until otherwise proven, the manner in which both, Ameren and USIC are scurrying, it is very likely that these allegations are founded upon truth. One of the first things I did when I first read about this story was to confirm my suspicions that Missouri was not a deregulated state as far as the energy market is concerned. I was correct.
The reason that energy deregulation is relevant to this story is deregulation destroys monopolies and ensures that customers have a choice when choosing their energy provider. Where there is no choice, there is a monopoly that limits the options of customers and reduces the motivation of the provider to value the customer.
The next question that pops up is the same question that Ms. Brown’s attorney posed, “How many times has this guy done this in the past, and how many women has he actually assaulted?” My experience in human behavior leads me to believe that this is not the first time based on how assertive and fluent he was in doing it. He was sure of himself, suggested he had done it before.
His name is Christopher Lamont Jiles, let’s make him famous. I have said this on more than one occasion, we have to send a message that our women and children are off-limits — regardless of race. ~ Rick Wallace, Ph.D., Psy.D.
OVERLAND, Mo. (KMOV.com) — A young St. Louis-area mother found herself in a nightmare that could happen to anyone.
She says a utility worker told her he was going to shut off her power unless she had sex with him. Then, it got worse from there.
Kourtney Brown was all alone at her Overland home in May when something unimaginable happened.
“I was off of work and I got a knock at my door around 10 a.m. It was an Ameren worker,” Kourtney said.
The man told Kourtney she was behind on her electric bill.
“He let me know that he was there to cut off my services. I asked him if he was sure, because I wasn’t sure my bill was due yet,” she said.
Kourtney was confused, so she called Ameren and a representative confirmed she owed about $160.
“I asked her if I could just run down to Schnucks to pay it and she said it was up to him,” Kourtney said.
“I asked him if he could hold off on turning it off and that’s when he asked me, ‘Well, what are you going to do for me?’ And I am just like, ‘What do you mean?’ Because I am not thinking what he’s about to say, I am not thinking that at all,” Kourtney said.
Essentially, she says the man gave her a choice between two sex acts, insinuating he would not shut off her power if she did it.
Stunned and scared, Kourtney tried to defuse the situation.
Get your ‘Black Men Lead’ Gear!
“He proceeded to ask me different questions like, if I am single, and then went to say, ‘Well, I know you’re single, because if you had a man, you wouldn’t be in this situation,” she said.
She managed get out of the house and went to the nearest store to wire the money and pay her bill. She then called Ameren and the police to report what happened.
“I just wanted to make them aware of what happened, of what was going on,” Kourtney said.
But, it didn’t end there. The man, identified by police as Christopher Lamont Jiles, called and texted her.
The texts said, “You got me in trouble, they are sending me back to your house.”
In a report obtained by News 4, Overland police said they even talked to Jiles. But recently, Kourtney says he called again from a blocked number.
“He said, ‘Beware, you made me lose my job, and I am going to kill you,’” Kourtney said.
Kourtney is now terrified for her and her children.
“When you are threatening to cut off someone’s power and they have two young children, that’s about as vulnerable as you can be,” said Edwin C. Ernst, IV of Ernst Law Firm.
Ernst, Kourtney’s attorney, says he’s got loads of questions about how this could ever happen and whether it’s happened before.
It’s especially important that there are policies and procedures to make sure the people given this responsibility are vetted and they follow the procedures in place to protect everybody.
Kourtney first thought Jiles worked for Ameren. When he showed up at her doorstep, Jiles was wearing a work vest that had a prominent Ameren label on it. In actuality, he was an employee for an Ameren subcontractor called USIC.
According to their website, they do contract work with a lot of utility companies, including Ameren and Spire in the St. Louis area.
News 4 reached out to Ameren for comment. Ameren would not answer any of our questions, but referred us only to USIC.
USIC also would not answer specific questions or conduct an on-camera interview.
They sent News 4 a statement:
“The safety of USIC employees and the community it serves is always the highest priority. When USIC learned of inappropriate comments being made by one of its employees, it immediately conducted an investigation and terminated the employee’s position in May. USIC remains committed to assist the authorities in any way it can if new information is learned.”
News 4 obtained records showing Jiles has been charged with harassment, regarding the threat to kill Kourtney, but he’s not been arrested since it’s only a municipal infraction.
It’s not his first time in trouble. Court records show in the 1990’s, Jiles was convicted of felony unlawful possession of a weapon. He also has a felony conviction for failing to pay child support.
Again, USIC declined to answer specific questions, when we wanted to know about them hiring a convicted felon.
News 4 went to Jiles’ listed address for his comment for the story, but he later called us.
“I have no comment, this lady is lying and if you are calling for that, that’s on y’all, that lady is lying,” he said.
Jiles denied it all.
“I did not call this lady, the lady is lying. She is completely lying. She is completely lying,” he said.
Though he had no reason for why she would make up the story.
“I don’t know, you’ve got to ask her, she is lying, she is lying,” Jiles said.
Kourtney says she’s afraid to be at home and she wishes the companies would take this very seriously.
“No one has reached out to even see if I am alive, they haven’t even seen if I am okay and I am not okay,” she said.
She wants an apology.
Spire, who also contracts with USIC, told us for the past year, they’ve required USIC to conduct background checks.
News 4 asked the Overland police chief why Jiles was charged only with a municipal infraction. He says it’s their standard practice for the type of offense.
Support the work of The Odyssey Project and its community programs, including the Black Men Lead rite of passage program for young Black males, Restoring Ghettos Forgotten Daughters, Music is Life, Financial Literacy 101 & Beyond, and more at https://www.theodysseyproject21.top/donate or you can contribute directly through the Cash app at $TheOdysseyProject21
Copyright 2019 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved