A civilian New York City police employee has accused her supervisor of sexually assaulting her and threatening to push her in front of a train after their romantic relationship ended.
Ammy Ventura, 40, an evidence and property control specialist, accuses Lt. Widler Lucas, 41, and the city of New York of sex discrimination, sexual harassment and a hostile work environment in a lawsuit filed Tuesday in Manhattan’s Supreme Court, the state’s highest trial court.
Lucas declined to comment Wednesday. The city's Law Department said it will review the case.
The police department said it does not directly comment on pending lawsuits. It said in a statement Wednesday that “sexual discrimination is prohibited by federal, state, and city laws as well as Department policies, and the NYPD takes seriously all accusations of such behavior."
It added that the department thoroughly investigates all complaints and does not tolerate discrimination in any form.
Ventura handled evidence for court, cold cases and rape kits and worked in the Intake Unit at the Pearson Place Warehouse evidence storage facility, where she met Lucas in early 2020, the suit said.
Ventura and Lucas began texting in February 2021 and dating two months later, she said in the lawsuit. The two bonded over going through divorces, but Ventura later learned Lucas was not in the middle of a divorce, even though he had told her otherwise, the suit says.
The couple’s relationship ended in September 2021 after a trip to the Dominican Republic. During the trip, he told her had “three other female friends with him,” the suit says.
A few weeks later, Lucas texted Ventura, “I can’t talk I am a married man,” the lawsuit says.
After the pair split, Ventura was subjected to sexual harassment, an assault and threats, the lawsuit alleges.
She “was forced to attend work and endured sexual harassment and retaliation day after day and year after year,” it says.
In August, the suit alleges, Lucas forced Ventura to perform oral sex at his office in Brooklyn. The alleged sexual assault, the suit says, occurred after Lucas asked Ventura to work overtime.
She “in no way consented at any time to this act in any shape or form," the suit says.
Ventura went “completely numb” during the “sexual attack,” during which Lucas did not even close his office door, the suit alleges.
Ventura "immediately confined in her best friend about the violent sexual attack," it says.
About six months after their relationship ended, the suit says, Lucas accused Ventura of telling people about their sexual relationship.
The suit alleges Lucas threatened that if Ventura ever “says anything, I’ll f------ kill you" and “would push Plaintiff in front of a train.”
Ventura’s attorney, John Scola, said Wednesday the alleged conduct exemplified the police department’s culture and how flippant it is toward its female employees.
Ventura’s lawsuit demands a jury trial and asks for compensatory and punitive damages to be determined at trial.