Two women have filed an explosive lawsuit against a Rikers Island corrections officer and the city of New York, charging that they were raped repeatedly by the officer with the complacency and consent of the city, reports CNN.
The class action suit, filed Tuesday in federal court, alleges serial rape and sexual abuse by a corrections officer at the all-female Rose M. Singer Center in the New York City Rikers jail complex, CNN says.
The suit names Benny Santiago as the alleged rapist of the two unnamed women, and charges that his actions were “open and notorious” among other officers who did nothing to stop him, writes the cable news outlet.
According to CNN:
One of the plaintiffs, identified in the complaint as only Jane Doe 2, reported the rapes to a mental health clinician and later to a doctor with the City Department of Investigation, the suit says, but was told nothing could be done.
“This abuse is only possible because, in the face of repeated warnings, the City of New York has enabled a culture of complacency to perpetuate at Rikers Island and thereby consented to the abuse of women in its custody,” the suit says…
When one of his alleged victims was believed to have reported her rape, Santiago released other inmates from their cells who then crowded the victim’s cell, yelling at her for “snitching,” court papers say.
A spokesman for the Department of Corrections told CNN that the office does not comment on pending litigation, but added that “DOC has a zero tolerance policy with regard to sexual abuse and assault, and there is no place at DOC for the mistreatment of any inmate.”
SOURCE: CNN | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty