By Casey Harper
A new lawsuit alleges rampant sexual abuse at an all women’s jail facility in New York.
A Rikers Island corrections officer and the city of New York face a federal lawsuit from two female inmates alleging that the guard was allowed to repeatedly rape them and that the city didn’t do enough to stop it, CNN reports.
The class action suit filed Tuesday by two women, identified only as Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2, claims that 8 corrections officers total were involved in sexually abusing inmates at the all-female Rose M. Singer Center.
The women claim the rampant sexual abuse was known by many but not stopped. Jane Doe 2 says she reported the rapes to a mental health professional but nothing was done. The suit also claims that one woman was impregnated by her rapist.
The officer allegedly took the women to areas out of the view of security cameras and timed it so supervisors would not be around.
When one inmate reported that she was raped, the officer allegedly let other inmates out of their cells to go torment the woman. He also allegedly threatened the family of one woman outside the jail.
The suit cited a 2012 Department of Justice survey which says 5.9 percent of inmates at the Rose M. Singer Center claim they were sexually abused by staff.
“Sexual violence is at record proportions in DOC, and rape and other sexual abuse of women are endemic at the Rose M. Singer Center,” Seymour W. James, the attorney-in-chief of The Legal Aid Society, told CNN.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has said he wants to reduce the jail’s population by clearing the backlog of state court cases. As of March, 400 people had been in the jail for over two years without being convicted of a crime.
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