A new lawsuit has serious allegations that workers at a juvenile detention center have been using their teen jailbirds as “sex slaves” as claimed by an 18-year-old Bronx resident.
Franklin Maldonado said he was placed at the Horizon Juvenile Center in the Bronx when he was just 15 years old in 2013 and 2014. He is turning 19 in a few weeks.
The Manhattan lawsuit claims that instead of enjoying protection, Maldonado was instead told by his supervisor Natalie Medford that if the teenager then “took care of her needs”, she would protect him from disciplinary action and would reward him with special privileges including the use of her cellphone, and being allowed to watch “special movies”.
The lawsuit further claims that while Medford preyed on the then minor Maldonado the center is supposed to be protecting, another Horizon adult worker was “grooming” another minor inmate.
It was also revealed that male workers in the center opted to keep their silence on the irregularity and looked the other way. It is claimed there was the case of a tour supervisor who allegedly admitted to Maldonado that female guards regularly engaged in sexual conduct with inmates.
A Horizon operator said he could not locate a worker there named Medford.
A source said the city Department of Investigation and the Bronx District Attorney’s Office are investigating the allegations. A spokesperson for the city Law Department which defends the city against lawsuits said they will review the complaint.