John H. Tucker wins July Sidney Award for exposé of Rikers Rape Crisis Published in New York Magazine

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

John H. Tucker wins the July Sidney Award for his New York Magazine feature, “Rape at Rosies: When the bad guys at Rikers are the guards.” A story detailing abuse of power, violence, and an inadequate protection of inmates.

The story is set in the Rose M. Singer Center, an all-female jail on Rikers Island, an institution with one of the highest rates of rape in the country. About 50 of the 800 women housed at Rosie’s at any given time are being sexually exploited by staffers, according to an anonymous government survey.

Darcell Marshall was a 22-year-old inmate awaiting trial at Rosie’s when she was targeted for abuse by a guard named Benny Santiago. Initially, Santiago flirted with Marshall and gave her gifts and money in exchange for sex. Later, he hit her and penetrated her against her will.


Op/Ed: Adding My Voice and Story to the Many Who Were Once Silenced by Violence


“I’d expected to meet a completely broken individual,” said Tucker, in a Backstory interview. “But Darcell, though clearly traumatized, revealed herself as charismatic, well-spoken, intelligent, honest and brave.”

Marshall successfully sued the city for allowing Santiago to victimize her. The lawsuit revealed how the jail’s lead investigator failed to preserve critical evidence against Santiago or investigate other serious allegations against him. Marshall’s suit became a catalyst for other Rikers inmates to launch similar actions.

“This story sheds light on a horrifying and little-discussed issue in the criminal justice system,” said Sidney judge Lindsay Beyerstein. “Jail officials know that staffers are routinely victimizing prisoners at Rikers and little is being done about it.”

Out of 307 allegations of sexual misconduct lodged in 2016 and 2017, only one has been resolved in favor of the complainant. Rikers is set to close down in 2027.

“If the stats continue their current trajectory, that would allow for over 1,500 more sexual misconduct allegations made by Rosie’s women — and that’s just the women who are brave enough to make a complaint,” said Tucker.


New York State's Archaic Rape Statutes of Limitations Ignites Jane Doe No More


John H. Tucker is a writer living in Brooklyn. For several years he covered criminal justice for the Riverfront Times in St. Louis, and the INDY Week in Raleigh-Durham.

###


The Sidney Hillman Foundation honors excellence in journalism in service of the common good. Judges are Ta-Nehisi Coates, Jelani Cobb, Alix Freedman, Hendrik Hertzberg, Katrina vanden Heuvel, Harold Meyerson and Lindsay Beyerstein. TheSidney Awardis given monthly to an outstanding piece of journalism during the prior month.

Haute Tease

  • Easier With Practice, a Kyle Patrick Alvarez Film, Provocatively Challenges Sexual Taboos

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Easier with Practice, a provocative challenging contemporary film, crosses sexual boundaries and explores sexual taboos with the determination, honesty and openness, of the1960’s generation.

     
  • Eleven Boston Cops Wounded, Two Critically, by Body Armor Wearing Suspect

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Boston police officers shot and killed a gunman after he opened fire on responding officers wounding eleven and critically injuring two who are now fighting for their lives, in what has been called a domestic disturbance gone bad.

     
  • Mudbound Review – Exceptional Character Driven Performances; A Triumph

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Mudbound, an original film from Netflix, presents a shocking tale of life in the 1940’s deep South as two WWII heroes, one white, one black, come home to face the evil, insidious, hatred of Jim Crow Mississippi.

     
  • Renowned Swedish Choreographer’s New Dance Partner is an Industrial Robot

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Renowned Swedish choreographer Fredrik "Benke" Rydman performed a delicate duet with the IRB 6620, a 900kg industrial robot from ABB in the premiere of a groundbreaking new work on Friday night  in Stockholm receiving a standing ovation.

     
  • Del Frisco Grille NYC Review - Tender Twists on Comfort Food Classics

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    When I travel to New York City, I seek out those venues where I can be “one with the natives” and immerse myself in the local culture to get a true sense of an area. Sometimes such gastronomic gems are hiding in plain sight, as is the case with Del Frisco Grille New York.

     
  • The Artist, Hugo Win Big at 84th Academy Awards

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Artist, Michel Hazanavicius’ silent film homage to early Hollywood, won big at Sunday’s 84th Academy Awards taking home three of the top six coveted statuettes.

     
  • Café Society Review – Woody Allen Hits a Four Star Homerun

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Café Society, from Lionsgate and Amazon Studios, presents the newest film from quintessential New York director Woody Allen, who charms with a less neurotic and inviting bi-coastal look on The Golden Age, family, romance, love, choice and circumstance.

     
  • Celebrity Interview: Emma Donoghue, Screenwriter for Critically Acclaimed ROOM, Discusses Bestselling Novel and Film

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    ROOM, from FilmNation Entertainment and A24, after winning the People’s Choice Award at the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival opened in select cities with critics everywhere continuing to fan the Awards season buzz for its weighty and honest portrayals.

     
  • Beltway Insider: Trump/ISIS Leader Killed, Turkey Cease Fire, Impeachment Hearings, Trudeau, Election 2020

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Donald Trump announced the death of the Islamic State leader, Abu Nakr-al Baghdadi, as American forces staged a pre-dawn raid which captured the former terrorist barricaded with three children, in a dead-end tunnel, pleading for his life.

     
  • Celeb Photos: Premieres and Parties at the Annual Austin Film & Music Festival

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Hollywood event company A-List Communications wrapped its annual premiere program of film events at its popular Arts & Cinema Centre with sponsors Maestro Dobel Tequila and Blue Moon Brewing at Basecamp and Summit venues located at 120 West 5th Street in Austin, TX.

     
  • Diamond Rivière Necklace Formerly Owned By Zsa Zsa Gabor At Bonhams New York

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    A magnificent diamond rivière necklace formerly owned by Zsa Zsa Gabor – the women who stated she had never met a diamond she didn't like – is up for auction at Bonham's New York this December 4, 2017.

     
  • Earth Science - The Bear and The Backlash

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The incongruous arrival of polar bears in the Nouvelle Zemble archipelago once again questions the effects of global warming but it also highlights the unconsciousness and vanity of the human being in the face of a nature he has always believed to be able to enslave.

     
  • Beltway Insider: Sandy Hook Shooting Dominates; Fiscal Cliff Standoff; John Kerry Nominated as Clinton Successor

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Obama heard the nation, in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shootings, and shifted the priorities of his second administration to place Gun Control at the top of his agenda.

     
  • The Tall Trees of Paris Book Review - An Exquisite, Vibrant, Introduction to The New Parisian Art Scene

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Tall Trees of Paris, a flamboyant coffee table art book from Portland gallery owner and curator, Matt Wagner, introduces readers to the colorful world of Parisian artists from the point of view of the artists themselves.

     
  • Beltway Insider: Trump/Government Shutdown, Border Wall, Syria; Gatwick Drones

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Donald Trump, with two days before Christmas, followed through on his pledge to shutdown the government sending millions of government workers home without paychecks and on temporary leave until the issue of the Border Wall can be resolved.