Ex-NYPD youth program director sexually abused teen in the 70s, lawsuit claims

Maya Rajamani
May 29, 2020 - 12:53 pm

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- The head of an NYPD youth program raped and repeatedly sexually abused a teenager who participated in the program in the 1970s, a new lawsuit claims.

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Bronx resident Alfredo Dones started participating in an all-boys, NYPD-run youth program in Manhattan in 1978, when he was 13 years old, a $20 million lawsuit he filed against the city, the NYPD and former program director Gilberto Maldonado in Manhattan Supreme Court on Thursday says. 

The lawsuit claims Maldonado “used his position of power to gain (the) respect, trust and confidence of (Dones)" while Dones was taking part in the 7th Precinct’s “Sea Safari Cadets” program.

Maldonado then sexually assaulted, sexually abused and sexually harassed Dones “for a period of at least one year, ending when (Dones) was 14 years old,” according to the suit.

The lawsuit claims some of the abuse took place at the program’s headquarters in Manhattan. Maldonado also abused Dones during field trips to Van Cortlandt Park and Harriman State Park, the suit alleges. 

Both the city and the NYPD “knowingly condoned and/or covered up the inappropriate and unlawful sexual activities,” and “failed to remove (Maldonado) from his position of authority to secure the safety of children,” according to the suit. 

Dones has “suffered from nightmares, panic attacks, flashbacks, depression and/or suicidal attempts” as a result of the abuse, the suit claims. 

The abuse left him “with lifelong, deep-rooted problems whose origins he did not fully understand and was too ashamed, humiliated and mortified to share,” the suit adds. 

The lawsuit, which was filed under New York state’s Child Victims Act, seeks at least $20 million in damages for “negligent infliction of emotional distress.” 

A spokesman for the city's Law Department on Friday said the lawsuit contained “serious allegations dating back to the late 1970s.”

“We will review this case carefully when we are served and respond accordingly,” he said.

The NYPD didn’t immediately respond to request for comment on the suit, and Maldonado couldn't immediately be reached for comment. The New York Post first reported on the lawsuit. 

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