NYPD Officer Rony Santiago has been sued by a woman he arrested after allegedly sending her a series of sexually harassing text messages.
“I was shocked and confused,” plaintiff Kammie Sifonte said to the New York Post. Sifonte says the harassment began immediately after her arrest on November 21, 2016, when she was apprehended for shoplifting at a Target. Santiago allegedly asked her over text if she wanted to participate in a “threesome orgy" only twenty minutes after she was released from jail.
The messages sent from Santiago are mostly sexually explicit: He said that he “love[s] a woman who could sit on my face," and that “I think u [sic] look better with the cuffs on.”
In another message he allegedly said to Sifonte that he'd “rub you anywhere you want,” and that she was “thick in all the right places."
Santiago said that he flirts with many of the women he arrests. He claimed to know Sifonte's address and threatened to show up at her home.
Sifonte claims she continued the conversation out of fear that Santiago may have influence on her criminal case. She responded with pictures of herself, saying that she thought he may testify against her and lie as a retaliation if she refused to participate. She also said that she had never given Santiago her phone number or any other personal information, meaning that he obtained it from police documents.
Sifonte's criminal case was later dismissed and sealed, but now she's suing the NYPD and the city for “in excess of $25,000” for the “extreme and outrageous conduct” that violated her civil rights and caused her emotional distress.
“It hurts everybody in the community when a police officer does something like this,” Henry Bell, Sifonte's lawyer, said. “It erodes trust in the community, and that trust is essential.”
The NYPD is not offering a comment on the situation.