Can’t sue rapist
8th-grader vic waited too long to file vs. janitor
A diagnosis of PTSD is no excuse for a woman’s failure to promptly sue the city over a sadistic Brooklyn school janitor who repeatedly raped her on middle school grounds, a judge ruled.
The woman, now 21 years old, sued the city last year for ignoring obvious red flags about janitor Ambiorix Rodriguez, who maintained a disturbing crash pad in the basement of the Middle School for Marketing and Legal Studies in East Flatbush.
Rodriguez (photo) raped the woman around 40 times in 2010 and 2011 when she was in eighth grade and attending the school. The janitor is serving a sentence of 20 years to life.
In a ruling made public Tuesday, Justice Verna Saunders wrote that the victim had until Feb. 1, 2017, to file a late notice of claim because she was a minor at the time of the incident. She filed the claim, the first step toward a lawsuit against the city, on Aug. 30, 2017.
“Under these circumstances, no cure is permissible and the action must be dismissed,” Saunders wrote.
The woman had submitted a psychiatric report backing up her argument that the statute of limitations should be waived.
“(She) suffers from PTSD, and this, in combination with her painful experience testifying in court, made speaking about her sexual trauma so painful that she was essentially psychiatrically incapacitated from working with a lawyer and suing for damages until relatively recently,” Dr. Roy Lubit wrote. Aside from 10 minutes of testimony during Rodriguez’s trial in 2013, the woman had barely spoken about the abuse until she was in college, the report said.
The trauma has continued.
“As a child rape victim, I live in constant fear that the defendant or his family will find me and cause me harm. I no longer feel safe at school; being alone; or in the presence of strangers — particularly men. I tried to seek counseling but find it impossible to discuss being raped out of enormous sense of anxiety and personal shame,” she said in a court document.
Her lawsuit featured disturbing photographs of Rodriguez’s creepy den of degeneracy in the school basement known as “the pen.”
The cramped space was accessed through a locked steel door past the boiler room.
Mold crept up the wall next to couches, a television, a DVD player, a refrigerator and weights. The bizarre boiler room hideaway was on the DOE’s radar prior to the assaults, papers show.
Once in 2004, a custodial engineer smelled alcohol on Rodriguez’s breath when he went to collect a paycheck. The engineer then found two six-packs of Heineken in a trash can in Rodriguez’s “pen.”
Rodriguez was busted twice on pot-related charges, in 2003 and 2007, and was suspended without pay — but later returned to his job.