What to Know
- The prestigious Brooklyn Friends School is facing a lawsuit from a former student who says she was repeatedly raped at school
- Amala Muhammed Redd, now 47, says she was taken out of class multiple times when she was in 3rd grade and raped by a janitor
- She says the school was negligent in protecting her from the janitor, and "deliberately indifferent" to the alleged abuse
A former student at the prestigious Brooklyn Friends School is suing, saying she was repeatedly raped by a janitor there when she was 8 years old.
Amala Muhammed Redd, now 47, said in a press conference Thursday that she was repeatedly raped at school by janitor Jesus Flores while she was in third grade in 1981.
"I wish I’d been given the opportunity to just be normal, to just be a kid, but I wasn’t," she said through tears. "He was a brazen child molester."
Redd alleged in a lawsuit that Flores would come to her classroom regularly and tell her teacher she had a phone call or was needed downstairs.
He would then take her to a closet and rape her. "I was 8 years old and I would sit there in the dark and wait for him to arrive... After which I would sit among my class learning basic skills."
The abuse ended when Flores was allegedly caught with Redd by another teacher. The lawsuit says once her abuse was discovered, the school called Redd’s mother and police.
Both the school and the NYPD never conducted an independent investigation, Redd alleges. The janitor was not prosecuted because her mother “was extremely concerned about putting her child through a criminal prosecution.”
However Redd said she carried the pain of the abuse with her through her life, and was moved to document what happened to her when she was in her 20s, even though she thought she could never sue due to the statue of limitations.
Earlier this year, the NY State Assembly and State Senate approved changes in the Child Victims Act, allowing sex abuse victims to sue and file criminal charges until they reach the age of 55.
Both Brooklyn Friends School and Jesus Flores are named defendants in the lawsuit, however Redd's lawyers The Zalkin Law Firm and Barasch McGarry Salzman & Penson say Flores has not been found.
Brooklyn Friends School head of school Crissy Cáceres said the safety of its students -- past and present -- was its highest priority.
"These allegations are serious and are receiving thorough attention. I will continue to lead this community with care as we all work to better understand and process these alleged events of over thirty years ago."