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Seven lawsuits allege sexual abuse at jails in Albany and Rensselaer counties

Oct 26, 2023 12:49 pm

Raga Justin reports in the Times Union that on Oct. 25 seven former female inmates held in at jails in Albany and Rensselaer counties filed lawsuits alleging repeated sexual abuse from multiple former employees of each county’s sheriff’s offices. Five lawsuits were filed in state Supreme Court in Albany and two in state Supreme Court in Troy by attorneys from the New York City-based law firm Slater Slater and Schulman. The lawsuits allege on-duty correction officers initiated sexual advances with women under their charge, physically groping them, threatening them, or coercing them to perform sex acts. Many of the women said they received extra food or food brought from outside the correctional facilities. Many of the women allege the attacks occured when they were isolated in showers or search rooms. Each of the seven lawsuits seek damages of up to $20 million for each petitioner. Adam Slater, an attorney handling these cases, said, “For decades, there’s been an environment of rampant and unchecked sexual violence.... It wasn’t episodic, it was systemic. But even worse, it wasn’t really a secret. They adopted a perverse code of silence … that extended to many of the correctional staff as well as the high-ranking officials. So the culture of sexual abuse in the New York state prison system was just rampant.” Read more about this story in the Times Union.