Sonia Allahdad is a strong advocate and voice for hundreds of women harmed by prison guards during incarceration. Sonia joined Levy Konigsberg’s Sex Abuse division at the beginning of investigations into sexual abuse allegations arising out of Bayview Correctional Facility – a medium-security women’s prison formerly located in Manhattan. Even though the facility is permanently closed, former inmates disclosed a staggering amount of sexual abuse allegations. In 2008 to 2009, Bayview had the highest percentage of reported incidents involving inmate sexual abuse by prison staff in the country. Incidents of correctional officers sexually abusing women under the state’s control dated back to the 1980s.
Normally, these claims would be time-barred in court but under New York’s Adult Survivors Act (ASA), these victims can now pursue these claims as long as they are filed in the New York Court of Claims by November 2023.
Sonia’s first task as a new Levy Konigsberg associate was to contact clients. Each call led to more information and even more names of both victims and abusers. She quickly noticed an alarming pattern: women were being sexually abused in a similar manner in all prisons throughout New York state. Even more shocking, the NY Department of Corrections and Community Supervision was aware of the abuse as early as 1983. Despite internal investigations, the state took little to no action toward inmate protection.
“We discovered that the abuse was actually widespread and systemic,” Sonia said. “The officers used their position of power to exploit vulnerable inmates for decades.”
After months of digging, Levy Konigsberg brought claims against seven correctional facilities. Now, thanks in part to Sonia’s investigations, hundreds of victims have hope that their stories will be heard.
“I don’t care what these women did before prison – they served their time and paid the price for their crimes. Nobody deserves to suffer this kind of abuse simply because they were convicted of a crime. These women have rights just like everyone else.”
Throughout her career, Sonia has advocated on behalf of vulnerable and marginalized individuals, including women who have experienced sexual violence. Her past experience has enabled her to take a comprehensive and compassionate approach to working with survivors.
“I’m just so excited to be at this point in my career, to be at Levy Konigsberg, working on ground-breaking cases and representing brave, resilient women in their fight for justice.”
Originally from New York, Sonia currently resides in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. During her leisure time, she enjoys dancing and is currently preparing for an Indian classical dance performance scheduled for October in New York City.
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