Daily Beast: Longtime New York Lawmaker Accuses Doctor of Molesting Him During Senate Physical
By Justin Rohrlich
Nov. 09, 2023
The first-ever openly gay member of the New York State Senate claims he was molested nearly two decades ago by a doctor conducting a routine physical exam required of all legislators.
That’s according to a new lawsuit obtained by The Daily Beast, in which former State Sen. Thomas Duane—also the first openly HIV-positive member of the legislative body—says Dr. Nathan Mitkoff of the Albany Medical Center ground his genitals against his thigh during a check-up in 2004. He alleges the disturbing incident “made his recovery from substance abuse more difficult and his ongoing need for psychological therapy more pressing.”
Peters Brovner LLP Sues Fordham University under the Adult Survivors Act
Peters Brovner LLP files Milestone Case for New York’s Adult Survivors Act
NEW YORK (JUNE 5th, 2023) — Peters Brovner LLP filed suit on behalf of former Fordham University student Frank Austin against Fordham University for ignoring repeated warnings and allowing a roommate with a violent history to rape Austin in his dorm room and sexually assault him in another campus building.
State Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal, sponsor of Adult Survivors Act stated “Frank Austin and every survivor of sexual abuse deserve a chance at justice, which includes holding their abusers accountable. The New York State Legislature passed our Adult Survivors Act for survivors like Austin, and I encourage all survivors to come forward with claims before the one-year period under the law expires on November 23, 2023.”
“An arbitrary statute of limitations should not stand in the way of a survivor’s opportunity to seek justice,” said Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal (D/WF – Manhattan). “We passed the Adult Survivors Act in 2022, to give people like Francis Austin, who have been kept silent for far too long, an opportunity to finally have their voices heard and hold their abuser or the institution that harbored them accountable. Our laws should not be written to protect abusers and shield them from prosecution. I am proud the Adult Survivors Act has helped to rebalance the scales of justice. I applaud Mr. Austin for his brave decision to speak publicly and remind others that the lookback window to file a previously time-barred case will remain open through November 23, 2023.”
Sexual assault is a crime. When it occurs within the workplace or at a work event, it is also an extreme form of sexual harassment.
Sexual harassment in the workplace is a form of employment discrimination that violates federal, State, and local law in New York. Employers are required to take steps to prevent sexual harassment and, if sexual harassment is reported, to take immediate action to address the situation. Moreover, an employee who reports sexual harassment is legally protected against retaliation from her, his or their employer.
An employer may, under certain circumstances, be liable for sexual assault in the workplace. In addition to being a crime, sexual assault in the workplace can also be a form of employment discrimination that violates federal, State and local law in New York. It may also implicate an obligation on employers to provide a safe workplace.
As to claims for employment discrimination, employers are required to take steps to prevent sexual harassment and assault and, if sexual harassment or assault is reported, to take immediate action to address the situation. Moreover, an employee who reports sexual harassment or assault is legally protected against retaliation from her, his or their employer.
In the opinion piece they lay out the crisis nonprofits face right now due the government’s failure to pay them on time and explain how the existence of these critical organizations, which New Yorkers – especially the poorest and most vulnerable — rely upon, is jeopardized.
Peters Brovner Pen Guest Blog About Online Sexual Harassment on Legalreader.com
By Lesley Brovner and Mark Peters
February 27, 2023
Peters Brovner Pen Guest Blog About Online Sexual Harassment on Legalreader.com. In the article they explain how harassment online can increase the victim’s emotional distress because it has the potential to include all of cyberspace.
Last week, the U.S. Department of Justice opened a civil rights investigation into the NYPD’s handling of sexual assault cases. This is a very big deal, and it’s quite possible the remedy should lead to additional federal oversight of one of the police department’s most important functions.
The failure to properly investigate sexual assault runs broad and deep within the NYPD. In 2018, while in charge of the Department of Investigation (DOI), the city’s inspector general, we issued a report showcasing NYPD’s Special Victims Division’s (SVD) egregious failure to properly investigate sexual assault. The findings from our report were gravely disturbing. The department knowingly and egregiously understaffed SVD for many, many years. Further, the officers in SVD were woefully undertrained.
Lesley Brovner and Mark Peters analyze the significance of the ASA passed by New York State.
In an Op Ed published today in Gotham Gazette, Lesley Brovner and Mark Peters write that in light of the Supreme Court’s apparent imminent overturning of Roe v. Wade, the fight over women’s rights will likely move to the various states’ capitals. In that regard, one piece of good news from New York’s State Capital is the passage of the Adult Survivors Act, modeled after the Child Victims Act.
In an Op Ed in the New York Daily News, Lesley Brovner and Mark Peters urge the new NYPD police commissioner to overhaul sexual assault policing
In an Op-Ed in today’s Daily News Lesley Brovner and Mark Peters explain that improving the way NYPD investigates sexual assaults must be a priority for the new NYPD commissioner.
They write “As [police commissioner] Sewell moves forward with both addressing the increasing violence in New York City and reforming the department, we urge her to ensure that these reforms include another crisis of violence: The NYPD’s failure to properly investigate sexual assault against women.”
Lesley Brovner and Mark Peters are the founding partners of the law firm Peters Brovner and have represented multiple victims of sexual assault.
DOJ Announces Plan to Turn Up the Heat on Corporate Criminal Conduct and Urges Stronger Compliance Programs
By Lesley Brovner & Mark Peters
Last Month, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco gave a speech to the ABA in which she discussed certain DOJ priorities that amounted to a much more aggressive stance toward corporate criminal conduct. Indeed, in emphasizing the seriousness of this policy shift, Monaco stated that “corporate crime has an increasing national security dimension.” More substantively, Monaco stated that DOJ will “surge” resources to these types of cases and make clear to line level prosecutors that they are not to shy away from hard cases even if they will, from time to time, result in acquittals.
New York State’s Sexual Abuse Lookback Statutes Explained by Lesley Brovner & Mark Peters
By Lesley Brovner & Mark Peters
September 14, 2021
1. What is the New York Child Victims Act?
In February 2019, New York State passed a “lookback window,” the Child Victims Act (CVA), extending the statute of limitations for survivors of child sexual abuse in criminal and civil cases in New York.
Peters Brovner is proud to have filed this latest Child Victims Act case
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 1, 2021
Child Sexual Assault Lawsuit Filed Against Public School (P.S.) 189 – The Bilingual Center, New York City District #17, Former P.S. 189 Teacher Jean Pamphile, The New York City Board Of Education, The New York City Department Of Education
Thanks to all of you, we’ve had a rewarding first two years, doing internal investigations, helping clients navigate an increasingly complex regulatory environment in New York and advocating for survivors of sexual assault.
Lesley Brovner and Mark Peters Lay Out Why They Support the Attorney General’s Lawsuit Against the Mayor and the NYPD in the Gotham Gazette OpEd.
Brovner and Peters write, “This Mayor and his police commissioners have repeatedly shown an unwillingness to make needed changes even when confronted with evidence of problems. If they haven’t taken steps they’ve known were needed for the last seven years, it’s hard to imagine they will do so now. For this reason, we’ve reached the point where a federal monitor to force change on the NYPD is the best option for this Department.”
Their opinion is informed by their five year-experience of running the City’s Department of Investigation, which oversees the NYPD’s Inspector General, during which time they “issued several reports on systemic failures that were largely brushed aside by the NYPD’s top leadership and the Mayor.”
Lesley Brovner and Mark Peters Join Distinguished Panel for the 33rd Annual Accredited CLE Update on Dec. 10-11.
The 2-day event was hosted by Carver Financial Services and included 2 judges and 9 speakers. In their session on Dec. 10, Lesley Brovner and Mark Peters discussed employers’ duties and responsibilities in reporting the misconduct of their employees. They also discussed the ethical considerations and best practices surrounding these issues, including best practices with an eye toward minimizing misconduct at the outset.
Lesley Brovner and Mark Peters pen letter to the editor criticizing NYT Magazine coverage of child abuse law enforcement
The letter was written in reaction to Michael Winerip’s piece about Operation Net Nanny, an online sting operation to catch child predators that snared hundreds of men and appeared in the New York Times Magazine on Sept. 13, 2020.
Lesley Brovner and Mark Peters Co-Author Law360 Article on How Employers Should Handle the Reporting of the Criminal Activities of Their Employees to Law Enforcement
In this Law360 Expert Analysis article, which was excerpted from a longer Lexis Practice Advisor article, Lesley Brovner and Mark Peters guide employers on reporting criminal activities of their employees to law enforcement. This article also briefly discusses steps employers can take to minimize their risk of liability via compliance programs and reporting.
Lesley Brovner and Mark Peters Co-Author Lexis Practice Note Article on Employers Reporting Criminal Activities of Their Employees to Law Enforcement
In this Lexis practice note, Lesley Brovner and Mark Peters provide practical guidance regarding employers’ reporting criminal activities of their employees to law enforcement. The article delves into the following topics:
Federal reporting requirements
State general criminal reporting requirements
Potential liability for failure to report and “willful blindness”
Minimizing risk and liability through internal compliance programs and reporting
Decreasing risk of claims brought by employees after employers report their alleged crimes
Mark and Lesley have decades of experience in law enforcement, serving at the highest levels of government. Peters Brovner LLP is a boutique law firm focusing on internal investigations, white collar/regulatory defense and litigation.
Lesley Brovner and Mark Peters Co-Author New York Law Journal Article on What to Do When You Get a Subpoena
June 23, 2020
In this New York Law Journal article, Lesley Brovner and Mark Peters explore how counsel can best respond to subpoenas and other information requests from local and state entities in anticipation of COVID-19-related fraud and other investigations.
Lesley and Mark provide useful insights about how the expected uptick in fraud claims will play out and how best to respond based on their time at the New York State attorney general’s office, as well as their years running New York City’s Investigation Department.
Lesley Brovner Featured in Practising Law Institute (PLI) inSecurities Podcast on Fraud and the Cares Act
Partner Lesley Brovner and Fabio Leonardi (the Assistant U.S. Attorney & Coronavirus Fraud Coordinator for the Northern District of Texas) discussed the various types of fraud that could occur as a result of the CARES Act on the latest edition of Practising Law Institute (PLI)’s #inSecuritiesPod with Chris Ekimoff and Kurt Wolfe.
Lesley delved into how fraud in the CARES Act might compare to fraud in other large government spending programs, the landscape of the anticipated enforcement response, the ways in which NYC faces different Cares Act spending issues than the rest of the country and the time frame for prosecuting fraud in the CARES Act.
Lesley Brovner and Mark Peters Presented a Celesq West LegalEdcenter CLE program on the Importance of Oversight of the CARES Act and Beyond
On June 15, Lesley Brovner and Mark Peters presented a Celesq West LegalEdcenter CLE program on “The Importance of Oversight of the CARES Act and Beyond.”
The program explored the potential for fraud related to the CARES act and the need for vigilant monitoring by government Inspectors General. Lesley and Mark reviewed the history and jurisdiction of both the federal IG movement and New York City’s Department of Investigation. They examined fraud and government responses in other comparable spending programs as well as discussed current investigations and reports concerning the CARES Act.
Lesley Brovner Featured in National Association of Women Business Owners
May 29, 2020
Lesley Brovner was featured in a National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) NYC Q&A, which looked at her career path and why she enjoys what she does. When asked why she chose to become a lawyer, she said, “I’ve always been focused on using my legal knowledge and skills to achieve justice and the best results for the people I represent.” She noted that her ideal client is someone who, “needs help conducting an internal investigation or dealing with a regulatory agency or governmental investigation. ”
Lesley Brovner and Mark Peters Co-Author Article for the New York Law Journal on the Importance of Oversight of the CARES Act
May 6, 2020
Lesley Brovner and Mark Peters co-authored an article for The New York Law Journal titled, “The Importance of Oversight of the CARES Act.”
The article delves into why a massive spending program such as the CARES Act needs close oversight to protect it against fraud.
Lesley and Mark served as First Deputy Commissioner and Commissioner at the New York City Department of Investigation during the rebuilding after Hurricane Sandy and spent over a decade prosecuting fraud in other government spending programs including 9/11 recovery, the WIC program and Social Security. Through their experience on these programs, they note that massive spending programs are invariably victimized by fraud.