A father has filed a federal lawsuit against a former Maine state caseworker claiming that she coerced him into a sexual relationship while she was tasked with helping him reunify with his children.

The suit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Portland alleges that Morgan Polky misused her position as a social worker with the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, sending hundreds of often sexually explicit texts to the father and grooming him to have sex with her.

Polky’s supervisor at the time, Tracy Clark, and DHHS are named as co-defendants.

The case focuses on Polky’s interactions with the father in early 2018, when his minor children had been taken into protective custody and he was trying to reunify with them, the lawsuit states.

“While in her government-provided vehicle, Polky again initiated sexual contact with (the father),” the lawsuit states. “(The father) acquiesced, believing he needed to do so to receive beneficial services in his case.”

The lawsuit claims Polky – who stopped working for DHHS in April 2018 and has admitted to sexual misconduct with the father in previous state proceedings – violated his 14th Amendment rights to bodily integrity and to be free from sexual assault.


“Polky acted under the color of law when she used her position of power over (the father) and his family to engage in a systematic pattern of grooming (the father) with the ultimate result of coercing sexual contact,” the lawsuit states.

The civil suit also specifically charges Polky with battery and assault.

“Under Maine Law, a client cannot consent to sexual conduct with a caseworker,” the lawsuit states. “Polky committed the crime of gross sexual assault when she engaged in intercourse with a client.”

The Press Herald doesn’t identify victims of sexual assault without their permission. The father’s lawyer didn’t respond to requests for an interview Wednesday.

DHHS spokesperson Lindsay Hammes said the department hadn’t received the complaint and would review the lawsuit when it does.

In April 2018, the state Office of Child and Family Services filed a complaint against Polky with the state Board of Social Worker Licensure, alleging that she engaged in sexual misconduct with the father, according to a consent decree Polky signed in May 2019.


In February 2018, Polky had sent text messages to the father containing sexually explicit language and sexually explicit photos of herself, the decree states. The father was trying to secure permanent housing.

“Over hundreds of messages on the 18th, (the father) continued to seek reassurance about how long it would take to receive a housing voucher, and Polky continued to turn the conversation back to their ‘relationship’ and sexually explicit topics,” the lawsuit states.

In the decree, Polky admitted to sexual misconduct as described and agreed to accept the revocation of her Maine social worker license retroactive to December 2018.

The lawsuit seeks a jury trial.

“Morgan Polky was able to illegally coerce (the father) into engaging in sexual conduct specifically because of the power she wielded over him as the caseworker assigned to his family in a protective custody case,” the lawsuit states. “As a result of defendants’ conduct, (the father) has suffered permanent physical injury, pecuniary losses, emotional distress and other damages, both compensatory and punitive, for which he seeks compensation.”

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