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$1.1 Million Awarded to New York Prisoner Raped by Guard

$1.1 Million Awarded to New York Prisoner Raped by Guard

by David Reutter

A New York Court of Claims awarded $605,750 to a female prisoner who was raped by a guard at the Albion Correctional Facility. The award followed a $500,000 award against the guard by a federal court.

In June 2007, Donald Lasker attempted to rape Anna Ortiz in a classroom at the prison. Sometime later, she was again called to the school and once there, Lasker brutally raped Anna.

For his guilty plea to rape, Lasker received only a two-month intermittent jail sentence, to be served on weekends, and 10 years of probation. The court held the state was 100% liable for Anna’s rape because it “had notice of Lasker’s propensity to pursue unauthorized relationships with inmates and yet left him in the position to continue to pursue the same, which was the proximate cause of the later rape of [Anna] by Lasker.”

The court found Anna “was damaged physically and emotionally by Lasker’s attempted rape, which shattered the structure and relative safety of her life in prison, and she was further damaged physically and emotionally when Lasker brutally raped her leaving her with physical damages that healed in time, as well as emotional scars she continues to treat to this day.”

In its August 15, 2012 judgment on damages, the court awarded Anna $158,000 for past pain and suffering and $447,250 for future pain and suffering. She was also awarded 9% interest per year, from the court’s October 19, 2011 liability finding. Anna was represented by attorney Laurie Shanks. See: Anna O. v. New York, New York Court of Claims, Case no. 2012-013-035

Anna was also awarded $250,000 in compensatory damages and $250,000 in punitive damages in a federal civil rights action against Lasker. See: Ortiz v. Lasker, U.S.D.C. (W.D. N.Y.), Case no. 08-cv-06001.


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Related legal cases

Anna O. v. New York

Ortiz v. Lasker