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Correction officer says Rikers inmate sexually assaulted her: ‘I still have nightmares’

A Rikers Island correction officer says an inmate violently tried to molest her — making her one of nearly two dozen jail workers sexually assaulted there in just over a year, according to her union.

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The officer, who asked to remain anonymous out of concerns for her safety, recently told The Post that she was attacked July 25 by a towering inmate who was behind bars for a forcible-touching rap in The Bronx.

“When I was coming out of the housing area, a tall, heavy guy ran after me,” she recalled. “He put his arm around my neck. He took his other hand and tried to penetrate my personal area. I couldn’t breathe. I was trying to get into my [defensive] stance.”  

The woman, who has been a correction officer at the troubled jail for five years, said another inmate pulled her attacker off of her but that she was left in a state of shock.

“When it first happened, right after the day ended, that first week, it was very difficult for me to communicate with my boyfriend or any male,” she said.

A Rikers Island correction officer shared horrifying details of the attack on her by an inmate.

“I didn’t want to be hugged because it triggered the same picture I had of the moment that day. I have to see what’s going on behind me. I still have nightmares. Every time I see a shadow, I have a panic attack.

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“I wasn’t there to give anyone a hard time,” added the woman, who had formerly worked with children. “I actually had a real connection to my work.

“My heart is still broken.”

Correction officer says Rikers inmate sexually assaulted
her: ‘I still have nightmares’ 1
The guard says the inmate chased her, put his arm around her neck and attempted to penetrate her, before another inmate pulled him off.
AFP via Getty Images

Her alleged attacker, who is 6-foot-7, was at the jail for a July 7 arrest for forcible touching, records show. He was charged with the same misdemeanor for attacking the 5-foot-6 guard, said a spokesman for the Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association.

She was one of 22 correction offices who were sexually assaulted at the Rikers Island facility since the start of 2021, according to COBA.

State Sen. Diane Savino (D-SI/Brooklyn) is among those pushing to make sexually assaulting any correction officer a felony.

Diane Savino
Diane Savino is trying to make sexually assaulting a correction officer a felony in NY.
Gregory P. Mango

“We are all very concerned about the situation at Rikers,” said Savino Savino, who has proposed state legislation to make such crimes felonies.

“The most attention has come from my lefty colleagues who think the best idea is to open the doors and let everyone out,” she said. “What’s been happening behind bars, at least under [former Mayor] Bill de Blasio, has been outrageous. You have women who have been sexually assaulted who are afraid to go to work.”

At the same time, solitary confinement, which COBA insists could curb the attacks, has become a lightning rod for controversy in local politics.

Robert Holden
City Councilman Robert Holden is pushing for solitary confinement to be codified as a punitive measure in prisons.
William Farrington

Many members of the New York City Council have been trying to end the city jail’s use of the practice, calling it Draconian and not in line with modern jail reforms.  

But City Councilman Robert Holden, D-Queens, is pushing legislation to codify the use of restrictive housing to keep inmates accountable.

“There’s no punishment, no personal responsibility, for failing to act or to listen to the correctional officers,” Holden said. “You’re putting them in harm’s way, especially when there’s no punitive segregation.”

Rikers Island
The anonymous correction officer says she is still experiencing nightmares since the attack.

As The Post reported in 2021, a staffing crunch amid COVID-19 and other issues led inmates to go wild at Rikers over the summer, with them stabbing each other and running through corridors destroying equipment.

In September, Holden asked Gov. Kathy Hochul to call in the National Guard to deal with the mayhem.

The attacked female officer who spoke to The Post said she personally no longer deals with the general population. She has also received counseling through her healthcare and from her church.

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