A 47-year-old female Rikers inmate says she was raped by a guard last month and collected DNA evidence to prove the allegation, The New York Daily News reports. The alleged assault against, Jacqueline Healy, occurred in a storage room.
Healy was cleaning up a flooded hallway when the officer, who has not been identified, approached her on Nov. 30 at approximately 9:00 p.m. The officer allegedly ordered Healey into a closet-sized room, locked the door, ripped open her prison jumpsuit, made her remove her shorts, and proceeded to rape her.
She also claims the gaurd bit a callous off his own hand and quipped, “If this is what I can do to me, think what I can do to you?”
After the alleged rape, Healy returned to her cell, her bra and panties reportedly soiled with the officer’s DNA. She began breathing heavily and was taken to the medical unit where she told a doctor, “Something happened, and someone hurt me,” without going into detail.
The doctor said Healy was having a panic attack and she was returned to her cell.
Healy, a career criminal previously convicted in a string of bank robberies, is in jail on another robbery charge. She didn’t want to speak up about the rape for fear of retaliation.
Healy has made assault allegations against a Rikers officer before. In that case, Healy said the officer forced her into oral sex, but the claim was never substantiated for lack of DNA evidence.
This time, Healy preserved the evidence, sending her bra and panties to her sister and a friend in Queens. “When this happened . . . I was like ‘Oh, I’m saving this because no one will believe me,” she said. “Throughout the years that I’ve been in jail I’ve seen a lot.”
It took her two weeks to file a formal complaint against the officer. “I was scared,” she said.
According to the Daily News the accused officer in Healy’s case was transferred to the transportation unit, away from other inmates. Her claim is currently being investigated.
There were more than 116 sexual assault allegations (61 of which involved jail staff) at Rikers last year, and more than two dozen reported rapes. The Department of Corrections grossly ignored the claims, according to prison advocate Letitia James who filed a class action suit. “[Health department] data shows that DOC staff is alleged to have abused inmates at an alarming rate,” James wrote in legal documents. “Our affidavit proves the disturbing prevalence of sexual harassment and abuse allegations on Rikers Island, along with a stark lack of coordination between corrections and health care workers in the investigation of the incidents.”
In a statement on behalf of Commissioner Joseph Ponte, the DOC maintained that it has a “zero tolerance” policy for sexual assault.
Last month, a female Rikers inmate filed a lawsuit claiming a corrections officers raped her on a bus for 20 minutes, as two officers watched.
Photo: NYS DOC