What is worse than a fifteen year old girl being raped by a court-appointed counselor on her way to sentencing for a minor crime? When that fifteen year old, is raped again by the very same court that failed to protect her half a decade ago.
In 2005, a fifteen year old, identified only as Ashley, was en route to sentencing in a Manhattan court room; charged with falsifying a police report, but as the teen was read her punishment in Manhattan Family Court, a sentence of twelve months, she was bearing a much more grievous and recent burden, that the court, and even her mother and attorney next to her were unaware of— Ashley had been raped by a juvenile counselor on her way from holding to sentencing.
As Tony Simmons, a behemoth of a man, was escorting Ashley to the courtroom, he, coldly and calculated, pressed the elevator button for the basement floor, where the 42 year old, pulled down her pants, and calmly and methodically raped the girl. After the attack, he chillingly brought his index finger to his lips, and gave a silent threat for the girl to not reveal the atrocity that had taken place.
New York Daily News: “Simmons continued to prey on teenagers in his custody until 2008, when a fifteen year old girl came forward and said Simmons had sodomized her behind a locker in the girls holding area, which he stocked with condoms and cookies.”
In 2008, Assistant District Attorney Amir Vonsover called Simmons’ assault on Ashley and two other teens, “just the tip of the iceberg,” but today, although calling Judge Cassandra Mullen’s sentence “outrageously lenient,” Vonsover made no objection to the plea bargain at Simmons’ sentencing. Simmons was sentenced on September 27, to probation; for attacks in which investigators believe could have gone on for a decade.
The moral of the undoubtedly twisted tale? We fail to protect those who can’t protect themselves, within walls of presumed protection; and when we have the opportunity to prosecute a court-ordered child molester, we turn the other cheek. That’s the sad truth; good luck finding any justice.