On Wednesday, a former teenage inmate at a New York City juvenile detention center filed suit against female supervisors there, accusing them of forcing the young male prisoners to have sex with them.
Franklin Maldonado, 18, who was incarcerated at the Horizon Juvenile Center in the Bronx between 2013 and 2014, when he was 15, stated that a female supervisor, Natalie Medford, who was in her mid-forties at the time, told him that if he “took care of her needs” she would protect him from disciplinary action. She also offered the use of her cellphone, extra food and candy, and the chance to watch movies.
Maldonado said when Medford neared his cell, she would shoo other inmates away, then engage in sexual activity with him; other times she would have a worker named John Ike bring Maldonado from solitary confinement to her office for the trysts. Their activity included her performing oral sex on him or engaging in “numerous other affectionate conduct such as kissing, holding hands and caressing his back.”
The lawsuit states that Medford would occasionally release Maldonado from “the hole,” or a segregated unit for punishment, “and bring him to her office for the purposes of engaging in sexual contact with him.” It adds, “On several occasions, Meford performed oral sex on the plaintiff and threatened him by saying, ‘If you say something, I will get you in a lot of trouble. But if you don't say anything, I'll take care of you.’”
Maldonado claims Ike and other staff members were aware of what was going on: “After the sexual encounters were completed, [Maldonado] was permitted to leave [Meford's] office and he would routinely encounter the other defendants, who would tell him ‘good job’ and that [Maldonado] was a ‘special kid’ and ‘be honest, you like her? And you like doing it, don't you?"'
Maldonado named another female supervisor, Jane Estrella, who behaved similarly. He stated that Ike informed him that female guards having sex with male inmates was “business as usual” at the center.
The lawsuit says the female staff gave inmates alcohol and encouraged them to get drunk, “then physically, sexually and mentally abused them.”
An operator at Horizon told The New York Post that they could not locate anyone named Medford at the center.