Rape and sodomy scandal hits NYPD in shocking lawsuit by Maria Mendez

Former cop Maria Mendez files a federal lawsuit, after the NYPD and Manhattan DA have refused to act, despite having proof she was repeatedly raped


                            Rape and sodomy scandal hits NYPD in shocking lawsuit by Maria Mendez
NYPD officers hand out information about hate crimes in Asian communities on March 17, 2021, in New York City (David Dee Delgado/Getty Images)

Former New York Police Department (NYPD) Officer Maria Mendez has filed an explosive federal lawsuit against her former employers on June 15. Mendez claims she was raped, sodomized, and tortured by her colleagues, but so far her claims have fallen on deaf ears. 

In 2019, Mendez came forward to reveal years of abuse and torture, after the Manhattan DA declined to prosecute. She claims her superiors glossed over the abuse "inside of department facilities, vehicles, and other locations." Sexual abuse is rampant in the US, not just amongst civilians but also among those serving in uniform. In 2020, Elder Fernandes went missing from Fort Hood after reporting sexual abuse. A 2020 report found that sexual assault cases have jumped up 40% in the military.  

READ MORE

Hazing, rape and racism: Swarthmore College fraternities disband after leaked documents reveal homophobic, misogynistic behavior

Renowned chef Mario Batali accused of sexual misconduct by multiple employees in NYC restaurant "rape room"

Amongst the damning claims of police brutality, Mendez's allegations paint a poor picture of the NYPD, and police forces in general. Her claims cover both fellow officers and senior leaders including a Deputy Chief and Captain. The allegations show a large culture of disregard for officer's welfare at the NYPD, which could have serious repercussions.

Warning: Graphic content

NYPD police vehicles respond near the scene of a suspicious package near the Fulton Street subway station in Lower Manhattan on August 16, 2019, in New York City (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

 

Mendez names and shames those who covered up abuse

The former cop was forced to file a federal lawsuit after her previous attempts to get justice have failed. She was forced to resign from the NYPD in January 2019, after a 14-year long career, when the Manhattan DA declined to prosecute her case. In the suit, she claims the “incalculable” amount of rapes were so bad, she suffered “physical deformities to her vagina and anus requiring surgical repair”. Furthermore, Mendez was left suicidal and suffering from anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the abuse between 2014 and 2019. 

Mendez has also alleged Fire Department of New York (FDNY) Firefighter Evan Santana or raping her, and stealing contraband from the homes of dead people. The suit also includes specific examples of abuse she endured. In one instance, she claims Lieutenant Julio Calle asked her to "spoon-feed him in his bed because she’s Dominican". In another, she accuses Sergeant Alfred Gallicchio of asking Mendez to perform threesomes and making comments like "let me drink the p---- juice" and "I’ll lick your p---- all day." 

The suit also claims Mendez confided in Lieutenant Filastin Srour about her abuse, but Srour refused to act. Allegedly, Srour called Mendez a "slut", and threatened that if she "didn’t stop making false allegations against good officers … she’d be forced to take action against her." Mendez also claims videos of her being raped were regularly shared on a group chat, and even viewed by Deputy Chief Michael Baker and Captain Neil Zuber. However, they did nothing to help. 

Protesters stand outside of a Manhattan court as former IMF director Dominique Strauss-Kahn exits the court on August 23, 2011, in New York City (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

 

She traces the abuse back to her former partner Officer Ryan Marrero in 2014. Marrero allegedly slipped two oxycodone pills, and then regularly began raping Mendez. Once those videos began circulating, she claims other Officers like Officer Jimmy Gutierres and Detective Michael Ganz demanded they have sex with her and raped her. In one instance, she claims Marrerro coerced her to attend a Christmas party, where he grabbed her by throat, shoved a silver handgun inside of her mouth, and ordered her into the back seat of his car where he raped her. 

In July 2019, Mendez was interviewed by the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau (IAB), as well as the Manhattan District Attorney’s Sex Crimes Unit. She provided them with photos, videos, soiled underwear, and even a DNA sample. However, the DA said it couldn’t "prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime has occurred." Mendez is unaware of the status of the UAB probe and hasn't heard back from the bureau since. 

Further details of the lawsuit were not available, including how much she is suing for. Back in 2019, we learned that she was preparing a $90 million lawsuit against the city, but it is unclear if that is the amount mentioned in the current suit. The NYPD and Manhattan's DA Office have so far refused to comment on the news. 

If you have a news scoop or an interesting story for us, please reach out at (323) 421-7514