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New York Prison Worker Not Kidnapped/Raped Long Enough For Compensation

On December 28, 2004, a 52-year old female employee at New York?s Camp Cass juvenile facility was accosted by 16-year old Michael Elston who choked her, banged her head against a wall and raped her at knife-point. Elston then forced his hostage into her car and drove around for six hours before she managed to escape.

The victim said she and her captor traveled ?for 50 miles, both inside and outside this facility, at times within several feet of the youth detention aides and other residents and nobody came to my aid.?

But being beaten, raped, strangled and held at knife point for six hours was not enough to garner the detention facility worker union insurance compensation. Union insurer JLT Services has a captive clause that only covers workers who are kidnapped for eight hours or more.

The victim?s doctor sent a letter in September 2005 to the Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA) stating that the victim would never be physically or emotionally able to return to work. CSEA Capital Region President Kathy Garrison personally requested JLT Services, the union?s insurer, to waive the eight-hour limit for the captive clause of its policy. A waiver, if granted, would compensate the victim between $40,000 and $100,000.

?I believe it is in the best interest of our organization and our member to do this,? Garrison said in her letter.

On Monday March 6, 2006 JLT Services formally denied the request. The victim received workers compensation and $10,000 cash.

?I feel like I?m being raped all over again,? she said. Over 200 local residents have petitioned town, county and state officials to shut down the rural facility near Rensselaerville, New York. A Department of Labor review concluded that Camp Cass employees receive insufficient training and are often exposed to dangerous situations they are rot prepared to handle.
Elston was sentenced to 27 years in prison.

Sources: New York Times Union

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