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Jacob Fuchsberg Lawyers Represent Survivors of Sexual Assault in Police Custody
Sexual assault in police custody is prevalent across the United States, and unfortunately, institutional failures often prevent the perpetrators of abuse from being held accountable.
While in police custody, people are often especially vulnerable to abuse and manipulation due to being in an unfamiliar situation. Police also maintain substantial control over an individual in that moment, creating an environment with a significant power imbalance.
According to New York State Law, someone who is detained in police custody is incapable of consenting to sexual activity with an officer.
Victims of police sexual assault may feel shame or guilty for being in that situation, but we are here to support you and seek justice. Our New York police sexual assault attorneys can help you bring a claim against the departments and offices responsible for and complicit in your abuse.
At the Jacob Fuchsberg Law Firm, we know first-hand how devastating sexual assault can be for the victim and the victim’s family. We take all measures to protect our clients while we fight for your rights and interests.
Call (212) 869-3500 or contact us online to speak with an experienced New York sexual assault attorney at our firm today for a free initial consultation.
What Types of Sexual Abuse Can Occur While in Police Custody?
According to the Department of Justice, law enforcement officers cannot engage in nonconsensual sexual contact with persons in their custody. If an individual did not consent to the officer’s actions, then the officer can be held accountable for deprivation of liberty without due process of law.
However, Section 130.05 of New York State Law specifies that a person is deemed incapable of consent if they are detained or otherwise in custody of a police officer, peace officer, or other law enforcement official and the actor is a police officer, peace officer, or other law enforcement official who maintains custody of such person.
Thus, any form of sexual contact between a person in custody and a law enforcement or police officer is considered a sexual offense in New York State.
Some of the most common ways that individuals in police custody may be sexually assaulted include but are not limited to:
- Forced sexual acts, including rape
- Penetration of the anus or vagina with a penis, finger, or another object
- Threat or request for sexual activities
- Display of sexual body parts by a staff member
- Other forms of sexual harassment such as unwelcome advances or derogatory verbal comments and gestures
Our New York sexual assault lawyers have worked with many victims of rape and sexual assault and do so with the utmost empathy and compassion, and work tirelessly to maintain your dignity while pursuing remedies against the perpetrators.
Prevalence Sexual Abuse in Police Custody
Unfortunately, police officer sexual assault is not uncommon among people in custody, and in instances where sexual assault is reported, thorough investigations are rarely performed.
In a recent study, experts found that officers often take advantage of opportunities provided through situational contexts such as traffic stop encounters, encounters with minors, or encounters with vulnerable populations such as domestic abuse survivors or sex workers.
In most cases, officers will use force or coercion to persuade an individual to engage in a sexual act.
Common examples of police officer sexual abuse include:
- Suggesting trading sexual favors for legal favors such as avoiding a ticket or jail
- Forced sexual contact with an individual restrained in handcuffs
- Victimizing or taking advantage of domestic violence survivors
- Sexual assault during a traffic-stop or during arrest
- Other unwanted sexual conduct
The New York Police Department (NYPD) has received scrutiny for failing to prevent sexual misconduct committed by police officers against people in police custody.
As a result, in 2022 the Justice Department announced that it would be performing a comprehensive review of policies, procedures, and training, of the NYPD with emphasis on the Special Victims Division to assess how NYPD interacts with survivors of sexual assault.
The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement act of 1994 (commonly known as the Crime Bill) prohibits the state and local government from allowing law enforcement officers to engage in conduct that deprives individuals of rights protected by federal law. The Act allows the Justice Department to remedy misconduct through civil litigation.
We can represent you in a civil suit and help hold the officer and facilities responsible for your abuse accountable.
Filing a Police Sexual Assault Lawsuit
If you or a loved one have been sexually assaulted by a New York police officer while in police custody, contact the Jacob Fuchsberg law Firm for a free initial consultation.
Typically, victims have 3 years from the date of the incident to bring negligence claims against the agencies or individuals that negligently allowed the assault to occur. However, it is important to note that notices must be filed within 90 days of the incident when a municipal or state agency was involved. In New York State, assault and battery claims have a 1-year statute of limitations.
Until November 24, 2023, the New York Adult Survivors Act provides a temporary one-year window for survivors of adulthood sexual abuse to bring claims forward that otherwise would have been barred by the statute of limitations.
While in custody, you still maintain civil rights and protections. Nonconsensual sexual contact is prohibited by federal law, and New York State considers a person detained in police custody incapable of consenting to sexual contact with an officer.
Sexual abuse is never your fault. We will investigate your claim and hold the responsible parties accountable.
Sexual assault can have significant impacts on a victim’s physical and mental health, including but not limited to:
- Depression and situational anxiety
- Suicidal ideation or self-harm
- Sexually transmitted diseases
- Unwanted pregnancies
- Diminished quality of life
The Sexual Abuse Lawyers at the Jacob Fuchsberg Law Firm provide discreet, confidential investigation into your claim, and will tenaciously fight to hold the responsible parties accountable.
We can also help you bring a suit against the departments and facilities that were knowledgeable and complicit in your abuse.
The Jacob Fuchsberg Law Firm has a proven track record of success, including obtaining the largest publicly available settlement against a federal agency for sexual assault.
Contact Attorney Jaehyun Oh for a free and strictly confidential consultation to discuss your rights.