Jane Doe(s) v. City of New York; Benny Santiago: Pervasive Culture of Sexual Violence
Jane Doe(s) v. City of New York & Benny Santiago is a lawsuit filed on behalf of two women alleging repeated acts of rape and other sexual abuse during their incarcerations at RMSC.
Correction Officer (CO) Santiago is one of at least eight COs accused of sexual misconduct.
Despite reporting of the rapes to a mental health clinician, jail physician and City investigators, CO Santiago is still employed by the NYC Department of Correction (DOC) on “modified duty.”
According to the 39-page complaint, CO Santiago sexually assaulted Jane Doe 1 “as many as four times a week” and punished her with anal rape and threats to her family if she resisted. “Santiago allegedly knew where Jane Doe 1’s mother lived, and would park his car outside her home, observe Jane Doe 1’s family, and later report his observations to Jane Doe 1 – reminding her to ‘make the right decision,’ and implicitly threatening her family.” CO “Santiago also kept Jane Doe 1 from resisting or reporting his sexual abuse by threatening that after she was released, she would live with him, keep his house clean and ‘never go anywhere.””
When CO Santiago suspected Jane Doe 2 of reporting him, he and other COs threatened and harassed her, twice refused to feed her for over 24 hours, prohibited her from bathing for days at a time, and confined her to her cell and placed her in punitive segregation without justification—all as retaliation for reporting CO Santiago’s criminal sexual acts.
DOC’s policies and practices promulgate the pervasive culture of sexual violence on Rikers Island, the complaint states, as evidenced by the following:
“Supervisory officers and staff facilitate this rape and other sexual abuse by making predictable rounds and otherwise failing meaningfully to oversee COs.”
“The City facilitates this rape and other sexual abuse by permitting supervisory officers and staff to operate in the manner alleged herein, by failing to monitor (through cameras or otherwise) known at-risk areas and even by failing to post signs throughout RMSC stating it is a crime…for any NYC DOC employee to rape or sexually abuse any inmate.”
“The City remained indifferent to the culture of rape and other sexual abuse at Rikers even after Jane Doe 2 reported Santiago’s sexual misconduct. Rather than taking prompt steps to investigate and punish Santiago, the City instead both continued to employ Santiago at Rikers and treated Jane Doe 2 as an adversary, refusing all requests for information about its investigation of her allegations.”
On 11.15.2015 the NYC Board of Correction said it would present its own Rule Change regarding PREA implementation on 2.8.2016. At the 2.8.2016 meeting the Board made no announcements about this proposal.
On 3.8.2016at the NYC Board of Correction hearing it was announced that the BOC would present its Rule Change proposal regarding harm reduction, PREA Implementation and sexual assault and rape in NYC jails on or before the 5.8.2016 BOC meeting.
Natalie Block-Levin at Anti-Rape Rally on Steps of City Hall December 14, 2016
Naseka Browne v NYC et al and some articles about one of the named correction officers, Austin Romain, mentioned in the Browne complaint: Read a publicly filed complaint relating to rape and sex abuse at the all-female jail on Rikers Island, RMSC from several years ago.
MT v NYC Transgender Rape Complaint Another lawsuit filed by a transgender inmate at Rikers island on 8.25.15 describes how employees of Corizon, the company formerly contracted by the city to manage its health care facilities on Rikers were complicit in these crimes and covered-up for the health care worker who allegedly abused “M.T.”