After she got out of the Army in 2004, Nathalie Delsoin wanted to follow in her godfather’s footsteps and join the Boston Fire Department. She passed the civil service test and the arduous physical examination, proving that, just like the men, she could cut it as a firefighter.
But when she started, she said, she felt tormented — not because her skills were lacking, but because she was the only woman in her Charlestown firehouse.
An officer asked her to fold his laundry. Her colleagues took her toiletries from the bathroom. Another firefighter referenced the size of her breasts. That same male firefighter, Delsoin said, jumped into bed with her on a June night in 2009 and tried to have sex with her. When she got free, she locked herself in the bathroom, where she spent the night.