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Inmate Abuse at Rose M. Singer Center

Rose M. Singer Center is a part of Rikers Island. Generally, it houses female inmates who are awaiting trial or who are serving jail sentences of less than one year. Just like at other facilities that house female inmates, sexual abuse of inmates by prison staff is a significant problem. In fact, in one case, an inmate at Rose M. Singer Center was sexually abused by a prison doctor and was repeatedly raped by three prison guards. The victim submitted evidence of a policy of at Rose M. Singer of “deliberate indifference to the physical and sexual assault of inmates.” The victim received a substantial settlement. However, historically, most victim have never received justice. Times have changed. Due to the Adult Survivors Act, there is now a limited opportunity for those who were sexually abused at Rose M. Singer Center years ago to receive justice. If you were sexually assaulted at Rose M. Singer Center on Rikers Island, contact an experienced New York sexual abuse lawyer at Stephen Bilkis & Associates. With a track record of winning substantial sums for victims, we can help you pursue compensation for the abuse you suffered.

Sexual Abuse at Rose M. Singer

Sexual abuse is a loose term that captures any sex offense defined in N.Y. Pen. Law § 130 et seq. This may include rape, forcible touching, being forced to touch the abuser, the abuser exposing genitals, and threats to force the victim to hide the abuse.

It is important to understand that an inmate at Rose M. Singer Center does not have the legal capacity to consent to sexual contact with a correctional officers. Thus, a correctional officer will not be able to successfully defend an accusation of sexual abuse by saying that it was consensual or that the inmate initiated the sexual contact.


Victims of sexual abuse have the right to demand compensation not only from their abusers, but from those who protected the abuser. For example, other prison officials who served as the “lookout” or those who failed to investigate allegations of abuse should also be defendants in lawsuits related to the sexual abuse.

Compensation may include damages based on pain and suffering. Victims of sexual assault suffer emotionally. This is why that many are unable to report the assault. They are unable to talk about it because it is difficult for them to process it. Victims suffer depression, suicidal thoughts, and anxiety. Some experience the emotional trauma for years. Through a lawsuit, victims can demand compensation for pain and suffering. In addition, victims can demand compensation for punitive damages. A correctional officer, prison doctor, prison volunteer, or other prison official sexually assaulting an inmate meets the definition of outrageous behavior required for an award of punitive damages.

Verdicts and Settlements for Abuse at the Rose M. Singer Center
  • February 2019. $500,000 settlement paid to Rose M. Singer Center inmate who was sexually abused in a closet. In 2015, an inmate at the Rose M. Singer Center in Rikers Island, awaiting trial on drug charges, filed a federal lawsuit alleging rape, sexual abuse, and harassment by correction officers Jose Cosme and Leonard McNeil. Following her report of the attacks, she faced retaliation from both staff and inmates, including threats and denial of basic necessities. The assault occurred in a secluded area without cameras. Fearing her complaint would be ignored, the victim sent pieces of her shirt with Cosme's DNA to a friend and relative.
  • July 2019. Rose M. Singer inmate receives $1.2 million settlement over sex abuse allegations. A former Rikers Island inmate, identified as Jane Doe, reached a $1.2 million settlement with the city after alleging she was raped by three jail guards over several hours. Doe experienced a nightmare of abuse upon arrival at the Rose M. Singer Center. She described being denied basic necessities, sexually assaulted by a prison doctor, and raped by the guards while chained to a toilet. Notable in this case is that although the city agreed to a $1.2 million dollar settlement, none of the defendants admitted any wrongdoing.
  • October 2018. $425,000 settlement paid to Rose M. Singer inmate for abused. A former inmate at the Rose M. Singer Center reached a $425,000 settlement with the city after accusing three correction officers, Steven Santiago, David Johnson, and Nana Osei, of sexual abuse between 2015 and 2016. The victim, currently serving a six-year sentence, claimed Santiago coerced her into sexual acts and exposed her to pornography. Johnson later demanded similar acts, while Osei allegedly sexually assaulted her multiple times, even providing drugs. The Department of Investigation intervened and asked the inmate to wear a wire to gather evidence. The inmate was transferred to Taconic Correctional Facility in Bedford Hills to serve out the rest of her sentence.
  • May 2017. $1.2 million settlement paid to two inmates who were sexual abuse at Rose M. Singer Center. The city of New York has agreed to pay approximately $1.2 million to settle a lawsuit filed by two women who alleged repeated sexual abuse by a Rikers Island correction officer, Benny Santiago. The women, identified as Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2, accused Santiago of rape and sexual abuse spanning several years, with threats of retaliation against their families if they reported the abuse. Despite reporting the incidents, Santiago faced no disciplinary action from the city. The lawsuit highlighted a pervasive culture of sexual abuse at the Rose M. Singer Center, where correction officers allegedly had a perceived free hand to retaliate against women who reported them. The settlements come amidst ongoing public scrutiny over violence at Rikers Island, prompting a halt to inmate transfers and federal oversight.
Contact Stephen Bilkis & Associates

If you were incarcerated at Rose M. Singer Center and were sexually abused by the corrections officers, volunteers, or other staff, you have the right to file a claim for significant compensation for the suffering your experienced. Under the law, the window to file your claim is just one year beginning on November 24, 2022 and ending on November 23, 2023. Thus, it’s important to act immediately. Contact an experienced sexual abuse attorney serving New York at Stephen Bilkis & Associates at 800.696.9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in the Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Nassau County, Suffolk County, Long Island, and Westchester County.

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