- A former prisoner at Rikers identified as Rose Doe sued the city of New York
- She claims a man housed at the prison told her he lied about being a trans woman to prey on female inmates
A man posed as a transgender woman to prey on female inmates at Rikers Island, according to one former prisoner who says she was raped.
In a lawsuit against New York City, the former female prisoner, anonymized as Rose Doe, claims staff ignored her concerns after the alleged perpetrator arrived in the female dorm in 2022.
Rose Doe, who was 21 when the alleged assaults happened, says the accused inmate clarified that he was not really transgender as soon as he arrived at the Rose M. Singer women’s jail.
According to Rose Doe: ‘His introduction was, “I’m not transgender. I’m straight. I like women.”‘
She says in the suit the prison’s staff ‘covered up Plaintiff’s sexual assaults by failing to provide her with adequate medical and mental health services, failing to collect, document, and review evidence.’
A man posed as a transgender woman to prey on female inmates at Rikers Island, according to one former prisoner who says she was raped
She also claims the prisoner was ‘instructed to claim that he was transgender by DOC staff so that he could stay in the female dorm where he would have access to female inmates.’
According to the civil suit seen by DailyMail.com, the prisoner sexually propositioned Rose Doe before groping her in the bathroom two days later.
Following Rose Doe’s complaints, the prison’s acting warden Floyd Phipps sent an email saying he did not feel the allegedly trans prisoner was suitable for the women’s dorm.
The email added: ‘[Rose Doe] does not want to remain in the unit due to feeling unsafe.’
But officers failed to remove the prisoner after Rose Doe raised the alarm, and she claims she was then raped while sleeping in her bed.
The suit claims on the morning of April 7, 2022, ‘while Plaintiff was sleeping in her bed, the Perpetrator, took the opportunity to sexually assault Plaintiff again. . . .pull[ing] down her pants while she was sleeping and begin[ing] to rape her.’
Rose Doe told NBC she will be ‘scarred for life’ from the assault.
Lynelle Maginley-Liddie is the Commissioner of the New York City Department of Correction
The trans prisoner has not been charged with any crimes.
The accused rapist’s father told NBC his son was ‘troubled’ and had a girlfriend when he was jailed.
However, the alleged perpetrator was transferred to a maximum security prison for men last year after pleading guilty to felony assault charges.
Rose Doe’s attorneys say there was plenty of evidence suggesting the prisoner should not be housed with female inmates, including five open complaints for alleged sexual misconduct.
The suit adds: ‘Upon information and belief, DOC records show that at the time the perpetrator joined plaintiff’s housing unit, he was being investigated for his potential involvement in a prostitution ring operating within Rikers Island that involved staff and inmates and that DOC was aware he was likely moved to the female unit to facilitate his procurement of female inmates to pimp out to male inmates and staff.’
Her lawyer Nicholas Liakas has expressed concern about corrections staff being able to identify impostors who could also endanger actual transgender inmates.
NBC also saw transcripts of a jail call where ‘an inmate’ says he manipulated his way into the woman’s prison. Rose Doe’s lawyers say it’s likely the same prisoner who allegedly assaulted the plaintiff.
The inmate said: ‘I’m not gay…I don’t want no penis… Send me some workers over here, like a whole swap of workers, heterosexuals.’
The NYC Department of Correction has declined to comment on the allegations, citing the ongoing lawsuit.
However, in a June, 2022, letter obtained by NBC, jail officials told Rose Doe there was ‘insufficient evidence to make a final determination as to whether or not the event occurred.’