Hundreds of brave survivors are coming forward to demand justice after enduring child sex abuse at juvenile detention facilities in the Bronx perpetrated by adult employees. Represented by Levy Konigsberg Attorneys Jerome Block and Madeleine Skaller over 150 survivors filed sexual abuse lawsuit this week against the City of New York for the sexual abuse they suffered while confined at juvenile detention facilities at the hands of employees in the Bronx. Some of these individuals were sexually abused at multiple juvenile detention facilities. Among these brave survivors are twelve individuals who were sexually abused by Natalie Medford, a former staff member at Horizon Juvenile Center, whose previously known acts of sexual abuse prompted State and federal investigations in 2018. 

Our legal team is leading the way in investigating sexual abuse claims from former juvenile detainees in New York City, and we have been taking legal action using the Victims of Gender-Motivated Violence Protection Act. 

For decades, New York City’s most vulnerable children have been sexually abused, neglected, and traumatized at juvenile detention facilities in the Bronx. Due to the City’s policy of locking up children for relatively minor violations or behavioral problems, many children who simply needed help went straight from difficult home lives into a traumatizing, prisonlike environment where they were regularly sexually abused. The over 150 survivors who have filed clams so far include those who suffered sexual abuse as far back as the 1970s and as recently as 2023. The violent culture of abuse and secrecy at these juvenile detention facilities has persisted despite widespread reports, investigations, and campaigns to close or reform these juvenile detention facilities. 

While Spofford Juvenile Detention Center (also known as the Bridges Juvenile Detention Center) closed in 2011, other juvenile detention facilities in the Bronx remain open to this day.

According to the lawsuits, many different staff at Bronx juvenile detention facilities were involved in sexual abuse, such as:

  • Correctional/detention officers
  • Counselors
  • Supervisors
  • Teachers
  • Nurses
  • Medical staff members 
  • And others

Despite the widespread and well-known sexual abuse of children at the City’s juvenile detention facilities, the City of New York has done little to protect these children or to punish their abusers. It is this pattern of negligence on the part of the New York City Administration for Children’s Services and New York City Department of Corrections and other City agencies that has prompted the filing of these lawsuits. The City’s shocking negligence in its failure to stop the sexual abuse of children in its juvenile detention facilities is detailed in the complaints that were filed this week. 

Leading the Way for Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse 

The Victims of Gender-Motivated Violence Protection Act provides legal pathways for victims of this type of sexual abuse to pursue damages from their abusers and from the institutions that enabled the abuse. In 2022, The New York City Council passed a groundbreaking law to create a two year look back window for survivors to file civil suits against their perpetrators and the institutions that failed to protect them, even if it has been years or decades since the sexual abuse took place. This lookback window is open until March 1, 2025, and allows survivors a meaningful opportunity to seek justice.

Levy Konigsberg and its team of dedicated trial attorneys are at the forefront of childhood sexual abuse litigation, having filed hundreds of lawsuits nationwide on behalf of survivors. 

In announcing this week’s filings, Levy Konigsberg Partner Jerome Block stated:
“New York City’s juvenile justice system is broken. The City’s juvenile detention center staff severely and systematically sexually abused our clients when they were children. The perpetrators of these heinous sex crimes were correctional officers, counselors, nurses, other staff members and even supervisors- the very people entrusted with our clients’ safety. Sexual abuse of this magnitude and severity simply cannot occur in the absence of negligence and, even worse, a culture of secrecy. Fortunately, the New York City Council has provided this 2-year window to address this type of sexual violence, recognizing that it often takes many years for survivors to come forward. Our clients are courageous people who are grateful that the City Council has allowed them to bring these cases forward after so many years to obtain some measure of justice, which will hopefully prevent future generations from being sexually preyed upon by similar acts of gender-motivated violence.”

Emily Miles, executive director of the New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault, stated: “The trauma of sexual abuse, especially abuse that occurs at a young age, takes years to process before many are able to begin the process of reporting the harm done to them. For those who face the compounded trauma of abuse while incarcerated, the process can take even longer.  Look back windows, like those offered through the Victims of Gender-Motivated Violence Protection Law and Child Victim’s Act, are frequently the only available pathway to justice for these survivors and are critical in ensuring the institutions who willfully allowed this violence to occur are held responsible.” 

The New York Times has covered Levy Konigsberg’s recent lawsuits on behalf of over 150 survivors of sexual abuse at juvenile detention centers in the Bronx. Interested parties can read the article here.

Levy Konigsberg represents hundreds of survivors of sexual abuse at New York City’s juvenile detention facilities and plans to continue fighting tirelessly on their behalf.

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 child sexual abuse that occurred at Horizon Juvenile Center, Riker’s Island, Spofford Juvenile Detention Center, or other juvenile detention centers in New York City, then speak with our team today.

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


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