Newark Customs Officer Forced On ‘Rape Table,’ Hit With Death Threats

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“Once the lights go out, they grab you up like a gang, and they forcibly throw you on the table and one officer ended up mounting me and pretty much riding me like a horse.”

 

 

Not even members of law enforcement agencies are not safe from sexual assault. What’s worse, the abuse is coming from their own colleagues.

The Department of Homeland is investigating allegations that U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency officers at Newark Airport have been subjected to sexual assault in the name of hazing by veteran colleagues.

At least three officers have filed a lawsuit against their senior colleagues over harassment that has been happening for years in a secure room in Terminal C where security cameras are monitored. The plaintiffs claim much of the so-called “hazing ritual” involves a “rape table” on which they were tied. Their clothing was never removed but the other officers would climb astride them and grind their genital areas on victims.

“Once the lights go out, they grab you up like a gang, and they forcibly throw you on the table and one officer ended up mounting me and pretty much riding me like a horse,” said CBP officer Vito Degironimo, describing it as sexual attack. “I’m grabbed by other officers against my will. I don’t know how much more criminal you can get.”

CBP officer Dan Arencibia said he narrowly escaped sexual assault but kept remembering a song from the MTV series "Jackass" that played in the room during the abuse.

Officer Diane Cifuentes said she escaped the “rape table” only to be given death threats by the seniors. She said when she tried to run away, she was held by another officer, duct-taped to a chair and a gun pointed to her face.

“I was very afraid for my life,” she said. “I took a deep breath and kept on typing like nothing was happening. I know that if I reacted either he was going to pull the trigger or I was going to draw the weapon myself and shoot him.”

"I’m afraid for my life, my safety,” the officer added. “This is terrorizing. How is it that officers believe they’re free to do whatever they want to do?”

All three officers were first too scared to make official complaints, particularly because the veteran officers were well connected and close friends with the victims’ immediate supervisors. When they finally did try to complain, only the “rape table” was removed but the officers were not given any form of punishment.

Eventually, all three mustered the courage to go to an attorney and file a complaint.

“This was armed hazing. It’s an accident waiting to happen,” said their attorney Patrick Metz. “These are armed federal officers assaulting other armed federal officers. It’s gang assault.”

U.S. Customs and Border Protection said an investigation is ongoing.

“We do not tolerate corruption or abuse within our ranks, and we cooperate fully with all criminal or administrative investigations of alleged misconduct by any of our personnel, whether it occurs on or off duty,” CBP said. 

However, the officers believe the CBP’s assertion is not enough. It’s time they went public, they said.

Carbonated.TV
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