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Lawsuit details 1993 sexual assault allegation against New York mayor

A lawsuit filed Monday gives new details of a woman’s allegation against New York Mayor Eric Adams, accusing him of sexually assaulting her in 1993 while they both worked for the city.

According to the lawsuit filed in New York County Supreme Court, the plaintiff had asked Adams (D), who at the time worked for the New York Transit Police Department, for help with a promotion. The plaintiff alleged that Adams had offered to drive her home one evening and talk about the matter, but instead took her to an empty lot, demanded a sexual favor and forced her to touch him inappropriately.

The plaintiff also accuses Adams of discrimination, harassment, battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Her lawsuit names the New York Police Department’s Transit Bureau and the NYPD Guardians Association advocacy group as defendants, accusing them of negligence and gender discrimination.

Adams “fully denies these outrageous allegations and the events described here,” New York City Corporation Counsel attorney Sylvia Hinds-Radix said in a statement. Hinds-Radix added that at the time of the alleged incident, Adams had no influence over promotions.

Adams denied knowing the plaintiff when she filed a summons in November; the lawsuit filed Monday says she knew him from work and his leadership in the Guardians.

The Washington Post generally does not identify victims of alleged sexual assault.

Megan Goddard, an attorney for the plaintiff, said in a statement Monday that her client “knew that filing this lawsuit would cause her significant personal challenges but she did so nevertheless.”

“Her fearlessness and quest for justice are as inspiring as they are important,” Goddard said.

The case was filed under New York’s Adult Survivors Act, which gave accusers a one-year window to sue alleged attackers regardless of when the alleged violation occurred.

Adams has not been charged with a crime in relation to the incident.

Before Adams was elected mayor in 2021, he served as Brooklyn Borough president and had worked as a police officer in the city for more than two decades. His campaign focused on crime and public safety, including a push for more police on the city’s streets.

At the time of the alleged incident three decades ago, Adams worked as an officer in the New York Transit Police Department, now known as NYPD’s Transit Bureau, where the plaintiff also worked, according to the lawsuit. Adams, the document states, also held a high-ranking role in the Guardians Association, an organization that advocates for Black NYPD employees.

The plaintiff, a Black woman, was hired to the transit bureau in 1980 and worked toward more senior roles for years but was passed up for them “due to the discriminatory nature” of the agency at the time, the lawsuit states, adding that Black and female employees who worked there were “subjected to sexual harassment and disparate treatment.”

The NYPD and Guardians Association did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday evening.

In 1992, the plaintiff passed a test that qualified her for a promotion, which she did not receive, according to the lawsuit. She tried to speak with someone at the transit bureau’s personnel office about it, the lawsuit states, to no avail.

She then ran into Adams and asked if he could help her get the promotion, according to the lawsuit.

Adams allegedly said he could help and offered to drive the plaintiff home that evening to discuss it.

Instead, he drove into an empty lot and parked the car, the lawsuit alleges. The plaintiff, it added, felt “nervous and scared” but “tried to assure herself” that Adams was there to help her. Adams then asked her what she needed help with, according to the lawsuit.

After the plaintiff explained her situation, the lawsuit alleges that Adams demanded a sexual favor from her, which she repeatedly refused, and put her hand on his genitals. The plaintiff was then “forced to witness his masturbation,” the lawsuit alleges. Afterward, she was dropped off at a subway station.

The plaintiff did not formally report the incident, the lawsuit states, because she “so greatly feared further retaliation” from Adams and the NYPD.

The lawsuit requests that the plaintiff receive compensatory and punitive damages, the amount of which would be determined by a jury.

The initial court summons was filed in November, two days before the deadline under the Adult Survivors Act. Signed by New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) in November 2022, the law gave accusers a year to sue, regardless of when the statute of limitations had expired.

Mariana Alfaro contributed to this report.

This post appeared first on The Washington Post

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