A half-dozen employees of the Cook County Public Defender's office have filed a sexual harassment lawsuit, claiming county officials have done nothing to protect them from inmates who masturbate in front of them during visits to the jail and courtroom holding cells.

The federal lawsuit describes almost daily encounters in which detainees masturbate and leer at the lawyers during meetings with clients -- a phenomenon the complainants say has been on the rise at the jail dating back to 2015. The lawsuit seeks class action status on behalf of women working for the office, including more than 200 of 400 staff attorneys. For a full version of this report, visit chicago.suntimes.com.