A Florida woman alleges in a lawsuit filed in New York state court Monday that in 1993 New York Mayor Eric Adams, then her colleague at the city Transit Police and a top official at a Black police officers’ organization, demanded oral sex in return for helping her get a promotion. 

Lorna Beach-Mathura, who was a civilian employee of the department, says in the lawsuit that when she refused, Adams exposed himself and “forcibly pushed” her hand onto his groin. When she pulled away, he continued masturbating in front of her, the lawsuit says. 

Now Beach-Mathura is seeking unspecified damages from Adams, the city of New York, New York City Transit Police, the Guardians Association and three other unknown entities, according to the lawsuit filed in New York County Supreme Court. The NYPD Guardians Association is a fraternal organization representing Black members of service, including civilian police employees.

Beach-Mathura said in the lawsuit she was “sickened and outraged that a man who presented himself as an advocate for justice and equality — a man who held himself out to be a ‘Guardian’ of other Black employees — would trap a Black woman in his car in a remote lot and demand sexual favors as a prerequisite to helping her obtain fair treatment at work.”

Adams denied the allegations.

“While we review the complaint, the mayor fully denies these outrageous allegations and the events described here; we expect full vindication in court,” city Corporation Counsel Sylvia O. Hinds-Radix said in a statement. “Additionally, in 1993, Eric Adams was one of the most prominent public opponents of the racism within the NYPD, which is why the suit’s allegations that he had any sway over promotions of civilian employees is ludicrous.”

In November, when Beach-Mathura first filed a legal summons in the same court, Adams claimed through another spokesperson not to know her.

“The mayor does not know who this person is,” the spokesperson said. “If they ever met, he doesn’t recall it. But he would never do anything to physically harm another person and vigorously denies any such claim.”

Beach-Mathura was not identified by name in the legal summons, which was filed two days before the expiration of the New York Adult Survivors Act. The law gave adult sexual assault survivors one year to sue regardless of when the original statute of limitations expired.

The summons said that Beach-Mathura seeks $5 million in damages and that she was the victim of sexual assault, battery, employment gender discrimination, retaliation, a hostile work environment and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

“She knew that filing this lawsuit would cause her significant personal challenges, but she did so nevertheless because she believes sexual abusers must be held to account, no matter who they are,” Beach-Mathura’s lawyer, Megan Goddard, said Monday.

In the lawsuit, Beach-Mathura goes into explicit detail about what she alleges happened with Adams when he picked her up in his car after work in Manhattan and drove her to a remote parking lot near the Hudson River.

Beach-Mathura says she found Adams “inspiring” and thought he could help in his capacity as a leader of the Guardians, to which she also belonged.

But according to the lawsuit, Beach-Mathura became “nervous and scared” when she realized Adams was not driving her home to Coney Island, as he had agreed to do.

Once at the lot, Beach-Mathura alleges in the lawsuit, Adams said he thought he could help her but said he “also needed some help” before he made a lewd gesture.

“While repeatedly cajoling, demanding, and begging Plaintiff for oral sex, Defendant Adams unzipped his pants,” the lawsuit says.

Beach-Mathura alleges in the lawsuit that she continued to resist but “was frightened not only due to Defendant Adams’ appalling conduct, but also because she knew that he, as a police officer, had at least one loaded gun in the car.”

After the alleged incident, Beach-Mathura “went to the Guardians for help” with getting a promotion but never got any assistance from the organization or from Adams. She left New York City in 1994 and now works as a public school teacher in Florida.

Beach-Mathura says in the lawsuit she told “numerous people” about the alleged assault over the years, including current and former police and transit bureau workers and her daughters when they were grown, but never formally reported the incident out of fear of retaliation from Adams and the Guardians.

The police department and the Guardians did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

In addition to the lawsuit against Adams, the New York Adult Survivors Act has led to lawsuits against other high-profile figures, including former President Donald Trump and hip-hop mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs.

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