New York mayor accused of sexually assaulting transit co-worker in 1993

FILE PHOTO: New York City Mayor Eric Adams looks on during a press conference amid an election fundraising controversy at City Hall in Manhattan in New York City, U.S., November 14, 2023. REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo



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By Steve Gorman

(Reuters) – A former New York City employee filed suit on Monday accusing Mayor Eric Adams of sexually assaulting her in 1993, when both worked for the municipal transit police bureau, after she went to him seeking help in navigating a hostile office environment.

In a 26-page civil complaint filed in New York state court in Manhattan, Lorna Beach-Mathura alleged that Adams, then a transit officer, assaulted her in his car while parked along the Hudson (NYSE:HUD) River after promising her a ride home to discuss her career problems.

She had trusted Adams and sought his help because of his role at the time as both a police department officer and leader in the NYPD Guardians Association, a fraternal group advocating equality and fair treatment for Black employees, the suit said.

Adams flatly denied the allegations in a statement issued by city lawyers.

Beach-Mathura said the alleged assault capped years of pervasive sexual harassment, discrimination and repeated denials of promotion she had endured as an administrative aide for the city transit bureau, now a part of the New York Police Department.

According to the complaint, Adams agreed to help her obtain a promotion and offered to drive her home one evening to discuss the matter, but instead took her to a darkened, vacant lot where he demanded sexual favors in return for his assistance.

As described in Beach-Mathura’s account, she refused his advances and pulled away her hand when Adams forcibly placed it on his exposed genitals before he masturbated himself to climax and ejaculated on her inside the car. She says he then dropped her off at a subway station.

According to Beach-Mathura, Adams also was behind her subsequent transfer to another department where she lost seniority and was forced from her job during layoffs “in retaliation for refusing his quid pro quo sexual demands.”

The lawsuit was filed under New York’s Adult Survivors Act, allowing accusers to sue over alleged long-ago sexual abuse even if statutes of limitations have expired. Beach-Mathura reserved her right to bring such a suit in a less-detailed court summons initially filed against Adams in November.

At the time, a spokesperson for the mayor denied the claim and said Adams did not know the accuser or recall meeting her.

In a statement issued on Monday, New York City Corporation Counsel Sylvia Hinds-Radix said the mayor still “fully denies these outrageous allegations and the events described.”

It adds that Adams in 1993 “was one of the most prominent public opponents of the racism within the NYPD, which is why the suit’s allegations that he had any sway over promotions of civilian employees is ludicrous.”

The NYPD Transit Bureau, the Guardians Association and the city of New York are also named as defendants in the suit, which seeks unspecified damages.


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