On Rikers Island, an openly gay female guard says she was sexually assaulted while on the job—but not by inmates, by one of her fellow corrections officers. The News reports how Andrea Thompson crossed paths with a group of drunken peers, including Officer Sean Hall, in the mess hall on New Year's Day. "I am going to get you to wear dresses, high heels and let your hair down," he said, according to a statement by Thompson. Then he lunged at her, pinning her against a refrigerator.
"He forcefully grabbed my crotch and held it while he fondled [me]," alleges the statement. Then "he slammed me once more against the refrigerator still holding my crotch," remembers Thompson. Worst of all, the same officer was the subject of similar accusations in 2006 when he allegedly attacked another female guard, "pinching her breasts, grinding his body against hers and tearing her uniform shirt," but somehow escaped termination from his position. "You should be lucky that anybody wants to touch you anyway," he told that victim, according to court papers.
In a settlement for that case, the female guard was handed $95,000 from the city. Hall, a union worker, was fined $50,000 but remained on the job. "Once again, the city continues to show its indifference towards female employees by failing to protect them in the workplace from sexual predators," said a lawyer for Thompson.