2 Brooklyn women detail NYPD lawsuit over handling of sex crimes

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BROOKLYN -

Two Brooklyn women are suing the NYPD, accusing it of mishandling sex crimes.

A year and a half ago, Alison Turkos says she was sexually assaulted by a Lyft driver. She told police, but says even getting in touch with her detective was like pulling teeth.

"From the moment that I reported, I wasn't treated with dignity and respect," says Turkos.

Jennifer Welch Demski says when she told police she was raped, a similar story unfolded.

"It felt like more I was being interrogated than I was being listened to," says Demski.

The result of the allegations is a 36-page lawsuit against the city and top police officials. They're accusing the nation's largest police department of mishandling sex crimes, making victims feel belittled, confused and alone.

"We want more training, we want more funding, we want more experienced and sophisticated detectives actually working up these cases," says attorney Mariann Wang.

The lawsuit cites a "male-dominated culture" with "gender bias against female victims" leading to clumsy investigations.

"I don't want any other woman to have to go through what I went through and that's why we're doing ... that's why we're doing this case," says Demski.

News 12 reached out to the NYPD for their reaction to the lawsuit. They say over the last 10 months, they've made major improvements in how they handle sex assault cases, with new leadership and more training.

Turkos says the man who raped her is still on the street while she fights for justice.

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