Adult Survivors Act cases brought against Slick Rick, DOC, nonprofit leader in Queens
By Jacob Kaye
Doctors, police officers, a serial killer, scores of correctional officers, a trailblazing rapper, a prominent restauranteur and a dozen others were accused of sexual abuse in Queens last week as the window to file claims under the state’s Adult Survivors Act came to a close.
According to data analyzed by the Eagle, 24 lawsuits were filed in Queens Supreme Court last week under the Adult Survivors Act, a New York law that gave alleged victims of sexual abuse a one-year window to file claims against their alleged abuser. Last week’s rush of cases – which account for half of all Adult Survivors Act filings made in Queens – came just before the deadline to file the suits on Friday. Over the past year, 48 claims were filed in Queens Supreme Court, Civil Term, according to the Office of Court Administration.
Statewide, more than 2,000 claims were made in state Supreme Courts in the past year, and nearly 1,700 additional suits were brought in Courts of Claims, according to the Office of Court Administration. A majority of those cases were filed in the final month before the deadline.
Last week’s deadline brought a rush of cases filed against prominent New Yorkers and institutions through the city and state. Mayor Eric Adams was accused of assaulting a woman in 1993 when he was working as a police officer. Former Governor Andrew Cuomo was accused by a former aid of “pervasive abusive conduct.” Sean “Diddy” Combs, Bill Cosby and Axl Rose also had claims brought against them in the last several weeks.
The same was true in Queens.
Richard Martin Lloyd Walters, a rapper better known as Slick Rick who rose to prominence during the early years of hip-hop, was accused by his former girlfriend of sexual abuse during the height of his fame three decades ago.
The full complaint against the rapper has yet to be filed, but the summons filed in Queens Supreme Court gives several preliminary details about the alleged abuse.
Walters’ ex-girlfriend, whose name is being withheld because she is an alleged victim of sexual abuse, said that Slick Rick assaulted her, intentionally inflicted emotional distress, sexually abused, imprisoned, raped and drugged her on various occasions from 1988 thorough 1992.
The woman does not specify the amount in damages she is seeking in the filing.
German Rizzo, the former executive chef of the Cipriani Group who previously owned an Italian restaurant in Astoria, also had a claim brought against him in Queens.
Like the filing made against Walters, the filing made against Rizzo does not include the full complaint.
The summons alleges “personal injuries arising from [Rizzo’s] sexual harassment, assault and battery.”
A woman also brought a claim against Bishop Mitchell Taylor, a prominent local nonprofit and community leader.
Taylor, who co-founded Urban Upbound, a nonprofit that provides various social services to low-income New Yorkers and is based in Western Queens, was accused of drugging and sexually assaulting a former employee at some point between 2010 and 2013. The woman, whose name is being withheld, also claims that Taylor sexually harassed her on various occasions until 2018, when the alleged harassment stopped.
Full details of the alleged abuse were not provided in the official filing.
When contacted by the Eagle, Taylor said that he was unaware that the claims had been brought against him in court.
However, Taylor did say that he recognized the name of the woman bringing the suit against him, and said that she had made similar allegations previously outside of court.
He denied that he had committed the abuse detailed in the filing.
“[The claims are] absolutely untrue,” Taylor said.
“People have to do what they have to do and whatnot, and try to cash in on people,” he added “But, I feel bad that people are making false claims.”
DOC, PD and NYP
A number of claims were also brought against notable institutions or members of those institutions.
Hundreds of cases were filed against the city’s Department of Correction by women and men who claimed they were sexually abused by officers on Rikers Island.
Though a bulk of those cases were filed in the Bronx, dozens were filed in Queens.
According to recent reporting by THE CITY, over 400 cases claim that some form of sexual abuse was committed under the negligent watch of the DOC. A bulk of the cases were brought by law firm Slater Slater Schulman.
Most detailed accounts of female detainees getting abused by correctional officers, both male and female.
Claims were also filed against New York-Presbyterian Queens and several doctors there.
According to prosecutors, Cheng sexually abused at least three patients at New York-Presbyterian Queens and raped three others at his Queens home.
The Adult Survivors Act filing was brought by a woman who claims to be one of the victims Cheng abused in his Astoria home.
According to the filing, Cheng repeatedly drugged and raped the former acquaintance of his inside his apartment. Prosecutors say that Cheng videotaped a number of the alleged rapes.
The filing also accuses the hospital of negligently supervising the doctor, and failing to stop him from stealing a number of drugs, including ketamine, which he allegedly went on to use to sedate his victims before abusing them.
The NYPD was also the subject of several Adult Survivors Act suits, including one that claims that the city’s police department failed to prevent one of several rapes committed by Lester Ford, a serial killer who murdered three women and sexually assaulted two others in Queens in 1991.
In January 1991, Ford strangled a 36-year-old mother to death in Hollis. A month later, he strangled a 28-year-old social worker to death outside of her Queens home. Not long after, the police began to suspect a serial killer was behind the murderers.
At the time of his prosecution around 30 years ago, prosecutors say that Ford then raped, but did not kill, a 16-year-old in St. Albans in the summer of 1991. The woman who brought the Adult Survivors Act claim in Queens this week said that Ford attacked and raped her in Jamaica in July 1991.
The suit alleges that the city and the NYPD failed to properly patrol the area at the time despite knowing that there was a potential serial killer at large there. It also claims that the city failed to provide adequate lighting in the area, and failed to warn residents about the potential danger presented by Ford.
The filing calls for $150 million to be paid to the defendant in damages.