A 17-year-old girl who was raped in an elevator at the Lynn commuter rail station last June is suing the MBTA for Massachusetts premises liability. She is claiming that inadequate security, poor lighting, and failure by the MBTA to take the appropriate precautions to protect members of the public contributed to her becoming the victim of the violent crime.
Police say that the teenager was waiting to take the train home on a Sunday evening when a man shoved her into an elevator, choked, and raped her. When the elevator doors opened, two people were able to pull the attacker off her. The victim says that the sexual assault lasted about 10 to 15 minutes. Joseph Sarcione, a 23-year-old homeless man was arrested and charged.
According to the plaintiff’s Massachusetts injury attorney, with 23 crimes reported at the Lynn station since January, MBTA police officials knew that the train station could be a dangerous place for patrons and should have done more to prevent the rape from happening. However, Transit Police contends that only one of the crimes prior to the sex assault incident involved any violence.
Since the woman was raped, the T has improved security on the rail platform and in its three block-long garage. Police patrols now go through the garage several times a day, broken lights have been replaced, and a police officer accompanies passengers exiting late night trains.
Property owners and managers can be held liable for Boston premises liability if inadequate security contributed to someone becoming the victim of a violent crime. Premise owners have a responsibility of taking the appropriate action to prevent crimes from happening. Depending on the type of property, preventive measures involving adequate security can include:
• Setting up a working alarm system • Hiring security guards • Scheduling police patrol • Installing surveillance camera • Making sure there are working locks on entryways and exits • Installing adequate lighting • Requiring people to sign in and out of a premise
Woman sues T over rape, Boston Herald, August 14, 2010
Teen choked in Lynn T station attempted rape, MyFox Boston, June 11, 2010
Related Web Resources:
Inadequate Security, Justia