New York City mayor Eric Adams faces sexual assault lawsuit

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Mayor Eric Adams of New York City has been accused in a lawsuit of sexually assaulting a woman in 1993 and demanding a sexual favor in exchange for his help advancing her career in the police department.

The lawsuit, filed on Monday in Manhattan, offered the first public details of a sexual assault claim brought against the mayor in November.

Adams, a Democrat, has vehemently denied the allegations and said he does not remember ever meeting the woman. A sexual assault “absolutely did not happen”, the mayor told reporters last fall.

According to the suit, the woman was seeking a promotion in the city’s transit police department when she sought help from Adams, then a police officer and high-ranking member of the Guardians Association, a fraternal organization that advocates for Black members of law enforcement.

The lawsuit says that he offered to drive her home from work and then drove to a vacant lot, where he offered to help her, but said he “also needed some help”. She said that while while sitting in the parked car, Adams demanded oral sex.

After she refused, she said he exposed himself and masturbated, according to the lawsuit. Adams then said he had to get back to work, and dropped her at a Manhattan subway station, according to the suit.

“Adams preyed on her perceived vulnerability, demanding a quid pro quo sexual favor,” the suit states, “revealing himself not to be the ‘Guardian’ he purported to be, but a predator.”

A spokesperson for Adams provided a statement attributed to the city’s corporation counsel, Sylvia O Hinds-Radix, which described the allegations as “ludicrous”.

“While we review the complaint, the mayor fully denies these outrageous allegations and the events described here,” the statement read. “We expect full vindication in court.”

The case was brought under the Adult Survivors Act, a New York law that extended the time limit to bring sexual assault lawsuits. The woman first entered her claim this past November, just ahead of the law’s expiration, but did not provide any details about the alleged assault at the time.

“I don’t recall ever meeting this person and I would never harm anyone in that magnitude,” Adams said last fall. “It did not happen, and that is not who I am and that is not who I’ve ever been in my professional life and, you know, it’s just something that never took place.”

The woman did not file a formal report at the time, but told “numerous people” over the years, including current and former NYPD officials, friends and her daughters, according to the lawsuit.

A spokesperson for the NYPD, which also was named in the lawsuit, did not respond to an emailed request for comment.

The Associated Press does not typically identify alleged victims of sexual assault in stories unless they consent to being named. Her attorney, Megan Goddard, asked that the AP not publish her name.

Goddard said her client expects to face significant personal challenges as a result of the lawsuit, but “she believes sexual abusers must be held to account, no matter who they are”.

The case adds to growing legal trouble for Adams, who is currently facing a federal campaign fundraising investigation that prompted FBI agents to seize his phones and raid the home of his top fundraiser in November.

Earlier this month, FBI agents raided two properties owned by another Adams fundraiser, who also served as one of his top advisers.

Read More: New York City mayor Eric Adams faces sexual assault lawsuit

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