Our Trusted Prison Sexual Abuse Lawyer Helps Victims of Sexual Assault in Prison Restore Justice
Sexual victimization is a prevalent form of violence in detention facilities across New York State, including anything from threats to prison rape. It’s illegal in New York for a prison guard or any other staff member to have any form of sexual conduct with a resident, whether the inmate consented or not.
Sexual assault in prisons isn’t limited to the abuse inflicted on inmates by staff; inmate-on-inmate sexual violence is also prevalent.
Prison sexual abuse is a human rights issue that can have significant impacts on the victim’s physical and mental health, including:
- Depression and situational anxiety
- Suicide ideation or self-harm
- Sexually transmitted diseases
- Unwanted pregnancies
- Diminished quality of life
Prisoners who have been sexually assaulted may feel shame and blame themselves for the assault, but we are here to help you regain your dignity and find justice. Our New York-based prisoner abuse attorneys take cases across the country.
What Types of Sexual Assault and Sexual Abuse Occur in Prison?
Sexual relations of any kind are prohibited between incarcerated persons and prison guards or staff. Prison staff members are anyone working in an official capacity in the correctional facility, including guards, other employees, visitors, contractors, and regulatory officials.
Sexual relations include all forms of sexual contact, intercourse (vaginal and anal), and other sexual acts. Sexual contact is considered to be any contact with the breasts, upper inner thighs, vagina and vulva, anus, or penis, either with the other person’s body part, hands, or a foreign object.
Some of the most common ways that New York incarcerated victims may be sexually abused include:
- Forced sexual acts, including prison rape
- Penetration of the anus or vagina with a penis, finger, or another object
- Threat or request for sexual activities made toward an inmate by a staff member or volunteer
- Display of sexual body parts by a staff member
- Voyeurism — an invasion of privacy for reasons other than official duties
Sexual assault in a correctional facility also includes any non-consensual touching of sexual areas of the body — directly or over the clothing — that is unrelated to official or medical duties, conducted with the intent to arouse or sexually gratify.
Unfortunately, sexual harassment is also common in New York correctional facilities. Sexual harassment can include:
- Unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual contact
- Verbal comments or gestures that are obscene or derogatory
Prison officials also have a duty of care to prevent inmates from inflicting sexual abuse upon other inmates. Unfortunately, sexual assault of one inmate on another or sexual coercion is very common, and preventing sexual abuse is one of the main duties of care of prison guards.
When prison staff members fail to provide this duty of care, their failure can be construed as sexual misconduct or violating the victim’s rights to safety while incarcerated.
Our prison sexual abuse lawyers cannot change what has happened to you, but we can help you hold accountable the perpetrator who harmed you.
The Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Firm recently represented female prisoners housed in a federal jail who were sexually abused by the same correctional officer over a period of time between 2017 and 2018. These brave survivors were afraid to disclose what happened to them out of fear of retaliation, including denial of food and basic human needs.
Jaehyun Oh, the lead attorney on the case, explained, “They felt that ‘the system’ was not going to help them because, after all, their abuser was the officer supposedly in charge of administering the system.”
Our firm stepped in and played a critical role in the officer’s criminal conviction. We also filed a civil suit against the correctional facility, providing justice for the victims.
Related Practice Areas
Filing a Prison Sexual Assault Lawsuit
Prison sexual assault complaints can be filed either by the incarcerated victim or by a third party on behalf of the inmate. Many prison sexual abuse survivors worry their complaints will be dismissed because they are prisoners.
Sexual abuse is never your fault.
As an inmate, you still have rights, including the right to file a complaint and seek justice for what happened to you. Having an experienced prison sexual abuse lawyer on your side can help your voice be heard and may help prison officials take your complaint more seriously.
We provide a discreet, confidential investigation into your claim and tenaciously fight to hold the responsible parties accountable.
The State Office of Victim Services and the New York Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) provide access for victims to report their assault through a confidential PREA Rape Crisis Hotline.
Simply dial 777 from any phone in any DOCCS facility for support and guidance. Operators will take your complaint and forward it to the appropriate authorities for investigation.
Furthermore, federal regulation requires all prison staff members to report all allegations of sexual assault in a correctional facility.
Incarcerated victims of prison sexual assault may file a lawsuit against the correctional facility the assault happened in and against the New York Department of Corrections. To initiate a prisoner abuse suit, one of the following causes of action must have occurred:
- Rape/sexual assault
- Deprivation of civil rights
- Negligence in the operation and security of the correctional facility
- Negligent hiring or retention of prison personnel
You have 90 days from the incident date to file a prisoner abuse complaint and suit. Once the complaint is filed, it is investigated. A lawyer can ensure that all filings are done on time.