On March 26, 2024, CBS News and the Gothamist published a bombshell report of over 700 sexual assault lawsuits filed against the City of New York by women formerly incarcerated at Rikers Island. The news story reached all the way to City Hall where Mayor Eric Adams was forced to address the issue at a live news conference and called for a “thorough investigation”. Levy Konigsberg Attorney Anna Kull and their client Jeny, a Rikers sexual abuse survivor, were featured in both the CBS News and Gothamist news reports. These 700 plus lawsuits, seeking more than $14 billion in damages, have exposed a systemic pattern of sexual abuse that violates fundamental legal and moral obligations that City of New York has in relation to those detained at Rikers, the infamous City jail that is scheduled to close in 2027.

You can read the full CBS article here  You can read the Gothamist article here

Speaking on CBS News, Attorney Anna Kull described how Jeny’s case highlights the systematic sexual abuse of women at Rikers. “Jeny was in Rikers for only about 33 days,” Kull said. “During that very short time period, she was abused approximately six times by several officers…”  Jeny told CBS News that “It was the scariest experience I’ve ever had in my life. It made me feel ashamed of myself. I mean, I come from a religious background… I felt helpless. Like, I felt like I didn’t have a choice.”

Jeny’s harrowing account of being subjected to sexual abuse during her incarceration for a DUI charge starkly illustrates the failure of the system to protect the vulnerable. Jeny’s experience, characterized by forced sexual acts under the threat of violence, is a damning indictment of the conditions within Rikers Island, a facility that, from the outside, is a jail but for many became a chamber of horrors.

The scale of the allegations, some dating back decades, underscores not just individual instances of misconduct but a widespread culture of abuse within the New York correctional system. The Adult Survivors Act, signed by Governor Kathy Hochul, provided a one-year window for victims of sexual abuse to bring forth charges, a legislative move that has brought these long-overdue grievances to light.

The attorneys representing these women, led by Anna Kull of Levy Konigsberg LLP, have detailed not only the frequency and severity of the abuse but also the lasting psychological and physical scars left on these courageous survivors who have stepped forward for justice.

Anna Kull

Anna spearheads our firm’s litigation of civil sexual abuse lawsuits brought under the NY Child Victims Act and NY Adult Survivors Act. These cases include highly-publicized civil lawsuits brought on behalf of former inmates at women’s jails and prisons across New York.

Attorney-Partner Anna Kull is Ready to Fight for Justice: Read more about Anna here

The city’s response to this growing scandal, including Mayor Eric Adams’s call for a complete investigation, acknowledges the gravity of the situation but also highlights the urgent need for systemic reform. As legal professionals and advocates for justice, our role extends beyond the courtroom to ensure that such abuses are never again permitted to occur within our penal system. The courage of Jeny and the hundreds of other women coming forward not only demands accountability but also a commitment to comprehensive policy changes that protect the rights and dignity of all incarcerated individuals.

The Rikers lawsuits filed under the Adult Survivors Act have highlighted a problem that has long existed at Rikers and other New York City and State jails and prisons.  Attorney Kull told the Gothamist:  “This is a continuous problem,” Kull said. “The Adult Survivors Act is only highlighting just how long-standing the problem has been.”

Levy Konigsberg is proud to be fighting for the survivors of sexual abuse at Rikers, and advocating for full compensation for each of them, as well as systematic change that stops this vicious cycle of sexual abuse of incarcerated women.

Levy Konigsberg is a nationwide trial law firm with a proven track record of representing survivors of sexual abuse. We have the strength, size, and resources needed to file lawsuits against government agencies, religious groups, medical institutions, and more. If you want to know if you can file a claim for sexual abuse that occurred at Rose M. Singer Center / Riker’s Island, or other prisons or detention centers in New York, then speak with our team today.

At Levy Konigsberg, we’re dedicated to helping former female inmates abused at any jail, prison, or correctional facility in New York, including:

    • Beacon Correctional Facility

Please call (800) 315-3806 now and request a free, initial consultation with our firm


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