Woman raped as child by Brooklyn school janitor suing DOE, principal

A woman raped dozens of times as a child by a janitor in a Brooklyn middle school basement is suing the educators who kept her abuser on the job.

The woman was just 12-years-old when Ambiorix Rodriguez, then 32, began bringing her to a dingy, locked basement room at the Middle School for Marketing and Legal Studies in East Flatbush and abused her 30 to 40 times between September 2010 and January 2011.

The room, known as “The Pen,” was excluded from security sweeps and went against city Education Department regulations and the school’s own safety plan, the victim claims in court papers.

She’s suing the DOE, Principal Jameela Horton-Ball and custodial boss Salvatore Incontro for giving Rodriguez free reign of “The Pen,” and says the two were “profoundly negligent” for failing to fire the janitor, who had two drug arrests while employed, was caught boozing on school grounds and was warned not to hang around the East Flatbush building after hours in the years before the abuse began, the victim charges in a new legal filing. 

Rodriguez was arrested for rape in 2011 after the eighth-grader alerted a school staffer to the relationship, which took place during and after class. He was convicted in 2013 and sentenced to 20 years to life.

The victim sued Rodriguez and the city in January 2018, but the case against the city was tossed due to the statute of limitations. She won a default judgment against the janitor in June.

She’s brought the new legal action in Manhattan Supreme Court under the state’s Child Victim’s Act, which created a one-year window to revive outdated cases.

The victim also listed the last names of seven teachers she claims failed to realize what was going on under their noses, according to the legal complaint.

Rodriguez, who was hired in 1999, had trouble on the job since 2002, when he was suspended for misconduct for two days. He was caught boozing it up at the school in 2004, arrested May 2004 for drug possession but a month later, was back at work. By July 2007, Rodriguez had twice been put on a DOE ineligible list. He completed a drug treatment program in December 2007, when Horton-Ball and Incontro rehired him, the victim claims.

But by 2009, he was still having problems, records show. Incontro warned him to leave the building when his shift was over, instead of hanging around and bringing “unauthorized” people into the school.


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