Survivors of childhood sexual abuse, community advocates file over 150 lawsuits accusing staff at juvenile facilities

One of the accusers, Mary Soto, said she arrived at Horizon at the age of 14 and was groomed by a staff member.

Dan Serafin

May 1, 2024, 2:15 AM

Updated 27 days ago

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More than 150 civil lawsuits were filed on Tuesday in the Bronx, accusing staff at juvenile detention facilities of sexual abuse.
The accusations go as far back as the 1970s and include some as recent as the 2010s - and involve kids as young as 11 years old. The instances allegedly happened at the Horizon Juvenile Center, the now-closed Spofford Juvenile Detention Center and Rikers Island.
One of the accusers, Mary Soto, said she arrived at Horizon at the age of 14 and was groomed by a staff member.
The New York City Gender-Motivated Violence Protection Act was passed in 2021 and is why this suit is now able to be filed - it gives survivors new opportunities to come forward. The law’s ‘look-back window expires March 1, 2025.
News 12 reached out to the city for a response and a spokesperson "Sexual abuse and harassment is abhorrent and unacceptable and we take these allegations very seriously. While these cases predate this administration, the law department will review them once served and respond accordingly."


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