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New York woman sues city after sexual assault by peace officer

A woman has filed a lawsuit against New York City following the conviction of her attacker who was employed as a uniformed peace officer at the offices of Human Resources Administration in Lower Manhattan. She asserts that the city bears financial responsibility for her sexual assault and wants a $5 million settlement.

The assault occurred when she went to the office to pick up a check. Office workers said that no check was available. She then demanded to speak to someone in authority but was instead detained by the Social Services Supervising Sergeant. He took her to a locked room and handcuffed her. She then said that he unbuttoned her shirt and touched her cleavage.

Because he wore a uniform, she realized that he might shoot her or strangle her. Whatever happened, she believed that it would be his word against hers. Due to fear, she kept quiet while he forced her to perform oral sex. After the attack, she kept her clothing, which proved to contain DNA evidence that supported her account of the story. As a result, authorities arrested and prosecuted the peace officer, who has been sentenced to five years in prison for the sexual assault.

When a person stands accused of a serious allegation like aggravated assault or sexual misconduct, a criminal defense attorney may be able to help protect the person from aggressive prosecution. An attorney may look for inconsistencies in witness testimony or evidence gathered after an unlawful search. Issues like that might justify a request for reduced charges or even get a case dismissed. The efforts of a defense attorney might enable a person to avoid a harsh sentence.

Source: ABC 7, "NYC says victim of sexual assault by peace officer has no right to sue", Jim Hoffer, Aug. 2, 2018

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