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Lawsuits for Sexual Abuse in Women's Prisons

Call 800-315-3806 to Learn More About a New Extended Deadline for Filing in New York

Women who were sexually abused while incarcerated at New York State prisons now have meaningful options to seek justice and compensation for their losses—including civil lawsuits filed under the Adult Survivors Act. Signed into law on May 24, 2022, the New York Adult Survivors Act opens legal pathways through which victims of sexual assault can file lawsuits and seek a financial recovery, even if their abuse occurred years or decades ago.

Levy Konigsberg is currently investigating allegations of sexual abuse at these and other New York State women’s prisons:

  • Bayview Correctional Facility
  • Bedford Hills Correctional Facility
  • Taconic Correctional Facility
  • Albion Correctional Facility
  • Lakeview Shock Incarceration Correctional Facility

Our attorneys at Levy Konigsberg are known nationally for litigating high-stakes sexual abuse claims against large and powerful institutions, and we currently represent many women who were abused while incarcerated at correctional facilities across the state. If you or someone you love has questions about pursuing a claim, we want to help.

Levy Konigsberg has recovered over $3 billion on behalf of our clients. We have the litigation experience and resources to help sexual abuse victims pursue justice. Call 800-315-3806 or contact us online to learn more in a free consultation.

A Dark Legacy: Sexual Abuse in New York Women’s Prisons

Over the course of decades, nearly all New York prisons housing female inmates have been implicated in allegations of sexual abuse and misconduct. This includes numerous criminal cases brought against correctional officers who sexually assaulted and abused inmates under their charge, as well as countless claims against Department of Corrections leadership who failed to stop the abuse or worked to willfully cover it up.

  • As many as 60-80% of women prisoners were sexually or physically abused prior to their incarceration, placing them at an increased risk for further abuse and devastating consequences.
  • A 2011 federal survey revealed that female inmates at Bayview Correctional Facility reported sexual abuse and misconduct at a rate more than 5x the national average.
  • One of the former inmates of Bayview was awarded $360,000 for claims of non-consensual inflicted by a prison guard who impregnated her.
  • More than 200 reports of sexual misconduct are reported every year in New York women's prisons, with only about 10 such reports getting referred for criminal prosecution

Governor Kathy Hochul recently signed the New York Adult Survivors Act that waives the prior statute of limitations for adult survivors of sexual abuse, giving them a temporary year-long window between November 24, 2022 and November 24, 2023 to file a sexual abuse lawsuit, no matter how many years ago they suffered the abuse.

Thanks to this groundbreaking law, we now represent a growing number of former inmates with claims dating back decades. You may have a claim if you were abused at a New York jail or prison, and even if a correctional officer claims the sexual activity was consensual. Under N.Y. Penal Law § 130.05, inmates cannot legally consent to sexual acts with guards, volunteers, or other staff who provide direct services to inmates.

We’re available to discuss your rights, available options, and how we may be able to help you pursue the justice and compensation you deserve.

Rikers Island Sex Abuse at Rose M. Singer Center

Like prisons, jails across New York have struggled with a pervasive culture of abuse and cover ups. This is especially true of the Rose M. Singer Center (or “Rosie’s) on Rikers Island, a female jail operated by the New York City Department of Correction (NYCDOC).

In operation since 1988, the Rose M. Singer Center has as dark a history of staff-on-inmate abuse as state prisons. In one notable civil case brought against the City of New York by a former inmate who was raped by three male guards, expert testimony showed that a toxic culture and “code of silence” among guards caused female inmates at Rosie’s to report sexual assaults at twice the national average.

These types of cases have unfortunately not been rare. For example:

  • In 2019, New York City paid $1.2 million to settle claims from a former inmate who was raped by multiple guards over the course of several hours at the Rose M. Singer Center.
  • In 2018, the city paid $425,000 to settle a case with a female inmate who was sexually abused at Rosie’s. The victim wore a wire to catch three guards discussing the abuse.
  • In 2017, RMSC guard Jose Cosme pleaded guilty to a felony criminal sex act for an incident with a female inmate in 2015. The victim, who smuggled her clothing out of the jail for use as evidence in the criminal case against the guard, later reached a $500,000 settlement with the City of New York.
  • In 2017, the City paid two former inmates $1.2 million to settle claims that they were raped and sexually assaulted by a male guard.

The history of abuse at Rosie’s dates back through its entire existence, as do the claims of coercion, cover-ups, and systemic failures by guards and DOC leadership. In addition to our representation of former inmates at NY State women’s prisons, our team at Levy Konigsberg is also working with female detainees and inmates who were sexually abused at Rikers and other jails across the state.

We are here to help you move through the healing process. When you hire the lawyers at Levy Konigsberg, you will be supported by a team of people who genuinely care about your rights and recovery, as well as the overall concept of justice. We will also approach your case carefully so you do not feel pressured to make one decision or another during this difficult time. We have helped many sex abuse survivors with successful claims and lawsuits in the past, and we would like to do the same for you. We know that the thought of filing a claim against your abuser can be a difficult step, which is why we promise to approach the case with sensitivity, respect, and confidentiality. Your privacy and comfort will always be in focus as we work on your case.

For a free and confidential case evaluation, contact us online or call 800-315-3806.

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