This Month’s Personal Injury Wrap Up- January 2017
Our New York City police brutality lawyers have handled numerous cases for inmates who were mistreated at Rikers Islands and suffered injuries, both by guards and other inmates. While cover ups and fabricated stories to justify guards behaviors are common place, Court papers this week exposed a new low.City investigators who were investigating an inmate’s sexual assault allegations on Rikers Island lost track of key biological evidence for four days before it surfaced with signs of tampering.
The inmate claims a Rikers correction officer sexually abused her in May 2013 by forcing her to perform oral sex on him and says that she put his semen on her pants after performing the sex actand then turned it over to city investigators as evidence. While a Department of Correction investigator collected the woman’s pants, the employee who ultimately took custody of the pants could not account for the garment’s whereabouts until for four days when the New York City Police Department received the clothing, After the pants went missing, the city Medical Examiner tested the pants after the NYPD received them and didn’t find any semen. Of course the lack of semen was the reason that the police and prosecutors declined to prosecute the officer. However, when the victims personal injury lawyers had the pants tested by an independent laboratory, the independent lab found results which revealed the presence of male DNA, on the left, right and crotch areas of the pants, which was consistent with the pants being washed before being tested. Our New York City inmate assault attorneys often retain independent experts in these types of cases and the results can be shocking.
While sexual relationships between inmates and guards are not a new phenomena, it must be remembered that under New York law, an inmate cannot legally consent to sexual activity, so any sexual act between a guard and an inmate is rape. The fundamental underlying rationale is the inherently coercive environment that a jail is and no one is really free to refuse. Despite the clear law that is intended to protect inmates, the practice of investigating criminal behavior by guards and abuses in general at prisons, especially at Rikers is far from ideal. But in this case, evidence tampering to presumably protect the guard from criminal prosecution is a new low. In this case, the guard has not been criminally charges and in fact, even though another woman is suing him for sexual abuse, he is still employed as a corrections officer at Rikers Island. This of course begs the question, how many times does a corrections officer have to break the law before he will be charged and how many more women need to be raped before he is prosecuted, or at least removed from his post.
Our prison brutality lawyers have offices in Manhattan and White Plains and handle inmate injury cases from the New York City jails, as well as the Westchester County and Rockland County Jails. Our consultations are always fee and there is no fee unless you win.