A former Rikers inmate who was beaten deaf in one ear by four inmates in January 2014—allegedly on the orders of two correction officers who proceeded to cover up the incident with false paperwork—has filed a federal suit against the city. The suit, which seeks damages for permanent hearing loss, argues that Rikers failed to protect one of its charges from fellow inmates and vindictive officers.

The News reports that 53-year-old Gilbert Bacallao was released from the Vernon C. Bain Center a.k.a. The Boat, a Rikers-affiliated barge in the Bronx, last June. He currently lives in a homeless shelter in the Bronx.

Correction Officers Nakia Gales, 39, and Herman Jiminian, 41 were suspended without pay earlier this year, for allegedly recruiting four inmates to beat up Bacallao after he "talked trash" to a third officer last winter. According to court documents, Gales has "ties" to the Bloods gang, as do two of the four inmates she recruited.

Gales, who was arraigned last month, pled not guilty to assault, falsifying records, and official misconduct. Both she and Jiminian are facing up to seven years in prison.

According to the News, Gales allegedly "lured" Bacallao into an empty vestibule in The Boat in on January 29, 2014, claiming that there was a package waiting for him there. Bacallao was locked inside the vestibule, where four inmates were waiting to attack him. Gales allegedly watched the whole incident from her perch inside an operations-and-control room.

The two officers then filed a false "use of force" report. According to Capital, it stated that Bacallao had attacked Gales in the vestibule, and that Jiminian had intervened to help her.

Bacallao reportedly fears gang retribution for his cooperation in the case against his alleged attackers. "I'm constantly in paranoia," he told the News.

"The indictment of the officers in this case shed a bright light on a system of corruption which already has a long paper trail," said Bacallao's attorney Justin Roper in a statement. "The Program... is really the story here," he added.

Bronx DA Robert Johnson has described 'the Program' as a "secret society run by correctional officers at Rikers Island to extort and beat other inmates." A Village Voice investigation from 2012 concluded that teen inmates in particular were being "deputized" by guards, and pitted against each other in violent fights.

"The vast majority of correction officers perform their duties with the highest integrity, and Commissioner Ponte has zero tolerance for those who don't," said a Department of Correction spokesperson in a statement.