March 30, 2014

Girl Accusing New Rochelle Cop Of Rape Files Notice Of Claim Seeking $20 Million (Lower Hudson Journal)

By Jonathan Damashek

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Leslie Korngold

New Rochelle: The teenager accusing a city police sergeant of raping her is demanding $20 million in damages from the city, the police and Sgt. David Rodriguez.

“Jane Doe,” as she is identified in a three-page document filed with the city Law Department, claims the city and Police Department knew of Rodriguez’s “violent, reckless, hazardous, and otherwise deviant and dangerous nature” and was negligent in hiring him, training him, monitoring him and keeping him on the force.

She claims she experienced “pain and suffering; sexual assault; rape; battery; assault; violation of civil rights; intentional infliction of emotional distress; and emotional and psychological trauma” at the hands of Rodriguez “within the scope of his employment with the New Rochelle Police Department” when he was at her apartment about 12:30 a.m. Feb. 9.

In a criminal action pending against Rodriguez, he is accused of returning to the then-17-year-old’s apartment after his tour of duty and raping her early Feb. 9. Rodriguez had been at the Cliff Street apartment earlier that night pursuant to a police call of the teen’s 35-year-old boyfriend and father of their 6-month-old returning there in violation of a protective order she had against him. Rodriguez pleaded not guilty to first-degree rape, a felony, and is free on $25,000 bail.

The May 6 filing, called a Notice of Claim, was not immediately found by the city’s Law Department because it was filed under “Jane Doe,” not the victim’s name. Once located, yesterday, the city immediately released it.

It was filed within 90 days of the incident, as is required by law.

This is not a lawsuit, city council Peter Meisels said. It is a way to preserve right to sue in the future. The time frame for filing a lawsuit depends upon the nature of the action and court in which the action is to be filed, and can range from a year to three years, he said.

The girl’s attorney, Jonathan S. Damashek, could not be reached for comment.