Levy Konigsberg Partner Anna Kull was recently featured in a Buffalo News cover story about an onslaught of lawsuits being filed against New York women’s prisons where female inmates were sexually abused by correctional officers.

As noted in the article, Anna and our firm currently represent more than 500 women who were sexually abused by guards and prison staff at correctional facilities across New York, including nearly 150 women who were abused in Western New York Prisons such as Albion Correctional Facility in Orleans County and Lakeview Shock Incarceration Correctional Facility in Chautauqua County.

Buffalo News Cover Story Profiles Partner Anna Kull’s NY Women’s Sex Abuse Suits
These claims, the article notes, involve decades of rampant staff-on-inmate abuse, a culture of concealment and cover-ups made possible by guards who leveraged their authority to keep survivors silent, and innumerable failings by prison officials to stop abusive guards and protect female inmates. Some involve multiple claims against repeat offenders who seemingly abused inmates without consequence for years.

Speaking with Buffalo News, Anna discussed how the flood of cases against the NY DOCCS has revealed that state prisons fostered a systemic sexual abuse problem for decades, especially considering that many survivors, despite being imprisoned years apart or in facilities across the state, have identified the same assailants or the same issues of abuse and concealment:

“These women don’t know each other. They have nothing in common other than having been incarcerated in the State of New York at some point in time. So, we’re talking about legitimate systemic issues.”

The article goes on to profile two survivors being represented by our firm who have brought claims over abuse committed by David Stupnick, a former Albion Correctional Officer who pleaded guilty to third-degree criminal sex act in 2020 and was sentenced to six months in jail. Both survivors detailed how guards would turn off their body cameras and evade stationary cameras positioned around the prison when committing abuse, and how guards would threaten or issue punishments such as solitary confinement to intimidate survivors to stay silent.

You can read the full Buffalo News article featuring quotes from Anna Kull here.

More Claims Expected Before Temporary Filing Window Expires

The growing number of claims against the DOCCS – which now number into the thousands – has been made possible by the NY Adult Survivors Act, a groundbreaking law that created a temporary one-year lookback window during which survivors of sexual abuse can file civil lawsuits against entities and institutions that failed to protect them – no matter how long ago the abuse occurred.

As Anna told Buffalo News, the Adult Survivors Act created new and much-needed opportunities for survivors of sexual abuse to step forward with their claims, as research has shown that it can take years or decades for survivors to process their abuse and speak out, especially in situations where abusers yield as much power and authority as prison guards.

“If you’re incarcerated, and you have just been raped by a correctional officer, who has absolute authority over you, you’re going to be fearful to report something like that. But the clock still ticked on their cases – which is incredibly unfair.”

At Levy Konigsberg, we expect to hear from more survivors as the Act’s filing window deadline of November 24, 2023 approaches, and are readily available to speak with those searching for more information. If you have questions about a potential NY women’s prison sexual abuse lawsuit and whether you have grounds to pursue legal action, we want to help.

Anna Kullis a Partner at Levy Konigsberg. As Lead Attorney of our firm’s sexual abuse litigationteam, she has championed the rights of survivors across the country in claims against the Catholic Church, Boy Scouts of America, public and private prison systems, and other powerful institutions. Her work representing survivors in claims made possible by the Adult Survivors Act has been widely covered in the media, including the Brutally Informed podcast, a New York Daily News cover story, and the short documentary film, “A Chance for Justice: Life After Abuse in Prison.”

RELATED POSTS