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NYC Mayor Eric Adams sued for alleged sexual assault of ex-colleague

A legal complaint filed Monday alleges Adams demanded sexual favors in exchange for helping a former colleague get a promotion.
NYC Mayor Eric Adams sued for alleged sexual assault of ex-colleague
Posted at 6:57 PM, Mar 18, 2024

New York City Mayor Eric Adams was accused in a lawsuit Monday of sexually assaulting a former female colleague who asked for career help in 1993.

The plaintiff, a former administrative aide for the New York City Police Department's Transit Bureau, claims she was repeatedly passed over for promotions despite her qualifications, so she went to Adams, a high-ranking police officer at the time, for help. 

The detailed complaint says the two were expected to talk about her future one day after work when he offered to drive to her Coney Island home, but the woman alleges in the lawsuit that Adams instead drove and parked in a vacant lot "to have time" to talk with her. She claims the city leader said he could help her get a promotion but that he "also needed some help."

The woman claims Adams then demanded oral sex from her and exposed himself. When she "repeatedly and adamantly refused," the lawsuit states Adams "forcibly pushed" her hand onto his "erect penis," and after she "grabbed her hand away" and "repeatedly said 'NO' to him," he "continued to masturbate himself," the complaint states. 

After the alleged assault, the plaintiff claims Adams told her he had to get back to work and that he'd drop her off at the nearest subway, which was a station that did not go to Coney Island, the 26-page complaint states. 

The woman claims she "realized that denying" Adams' demands was likely to create further work problems for her, stating that it was a time of intense discrimination and retaliatory behavior upon those who complained. She states these fears as the reason she didn't formally report the alleged incident at the time too, though she says she told numerous people — including NYPD officials — over the years.

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"Instead of helping plaintiff get fair treatment at Defendant Transit Bureau, defendant Adams preyed on her perceived vulnerability, demanding a quid pro quo sexual favor and sexually assaulting plaintiff, revealing himself not to be the 'Guardian' he purported to be, but a predator," the complaint states, referring to the NYPD's Guardians Association, a fraternal organization formed to fight for Black employees, which Adams led at the time.

The complaint filed in Manhattan on Monday is part of a November lawsuit brought under the Adult Survivors Act, a now-expired New York law that extended the window in which sexual assault survivors could take legal action. The woman's initial notice of claim in the New York Supreme Court last year didn't provide the details stated in the new complaint.

Since it was first brought forth, however, Adams has vehemently denied the woman's allegations, saying last year that he doesn't know the woman and that the sexual assault "absolutely did not happen." 

"I don't recall ever meeting this person, and I would never harm anyone in that magnitude," Adams said last fall. "It did not happen, and that is not who I am and that is not who I've ever been in my professional life. And, you know, it's just something that never took place."

In a statement attributed to Sylvia O. Hinds-Radix, the city's corporation counsel, received by Scripps News on Monday, Adams' office said they would take legal action against the plaintiff, whose lawsuit it described as "ludicrous."

"While we review the complaint, the mayor fully denies these outrageous allegations and the events described here; we expect full vindication in court," the statement read. "Additionally, in 1993, Eric Adams was one of the most prominent public opponents of the racism within the NYPD, which is why the suit's allegations that he had any sway over promotions of civilian employees is ludicrous."

The plaintiff, who now lives in Florida and was terminated shortly after the alleged incident, is seeking $5 million in damages from Adams, New York City, the Guardians Association and the police department.


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