ROCHESTER, N.Y. (CN) – A woman sentenced to alcohol and drug treatment for drunken driving says her court-appointed counselor raped her for 6 years under the threat that he’d send her to prison if she refused to submit.
The woman was placed in outpatient treatment and counseling with John Hanglow after she was convicted of DWI in 1999.
“Rather than receive counseling and treatment for her addiction to alcohol, Pamela was instead intimidated, sexually assaulted, and taken advantage of by her drug treatment counselor,” according her federal complaint.
The woman says she was “repeatedly required by Hanglow to perform oral sex on him, as well as be subjected to involuntary sexual intercourse with him, and other deviant sexual acts, including anal sex, for his sexual gratification.”
She sued Livingston County and its Probation Department, Hanglow, and the Livingston County Council on Alcohol and Substance Abuse, a nonprofit that contracts with the county.
No charges were filed against Hanglow, who was allowed to “comfortably resign or retire” from the nonprofit group after her story became known, according to the complaint.
In April, a Livingston County Judge vacated the woman’s prison sentence and alluded to a report by the New York State Office of Court Administration of the Inspector General’s Office, based on interviews with the plaintiff and other women who claimed Hanglow sexually assaulted them, according to the complaint.
The woman says she was placed on house arrest in 2002 after another DWI conviction. She needed permission every time she left home.
“Hanglow circumvented this problem by directing Pamela to tell her probation officer that she needed to leave her home to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings,” the complaint states.
But Hanglow demanded that she meet him for sex, she says, adding that her five spinal surgeries did not deter him.
On one occasion, according to the complaint, “Pamela was lying on her bed sleeping and woke up to Hanglow’s presence. Despite the fact that Pamela was required to wear a neck brace 24 hours a day, Hanglow forced her to perform oral sex on him.”
She claims he continued despite “the excruciating pain it was causing her.”
“Hanglow also again began forcing her to have sexual intercourse, always threatening to violate her probation and send her to prison if she did not do what he said,” according to the complaint.
In another instance, she says Hanglow ordered her to meet him in a park, and showed up with a camper attached to his truck. “After making Pamela go inside the camper, he forced her to bend over, promising at the same time that he would not hurt her,” the complaint states. “Contrary to that promise, Hanglow then grabbed her hair and forcefully pulled her head back. This act caused Pamela excruciating pain due to her surgery.”
After being raped and sodomized, Pamela fell to the floor crying hysterically, she says. “Hanglow responded by throwing some paper towel on her and cursed her for bleeding on his camper,” according to the complaint.
She says another incident occurred while she was shopping, and Hanglow confronted her and told her to get in his truck. “Hanglow eventually drove her down a dirt road to a remote location in Sonyea. He pulled the vehicle over and told her to get out of the truck,” the complaint states. “Pamela did what she was told. Hanglow then stripped her naked and brutally raped her, pulling her hair and hitting her.” Then he grabbed her clothes and drove off, leaving her naked, she says.
The woman says she received another DWI in 2007, and that by this time Hanglow was the director of treatment court for Livingston County. She says his sexual abuses continued until later that year, when she began to refuse his orders. She say he responded by telling her that he would “put her away for a long time” if she told anybody.
In October 2008, the woman was arrested and charged with violating probation after a random compliance check, in which she was found to have consumed alcohol.
Her attorney, Jeffrey Wicks, said he did not want to comment “on the record,” because the lawsuit has yet to be served, and because he has not seen the report that apparently swayed Livingston County Judge Robert B. Wiggins.
“Judge Wiggins stated in open court that he was vacating the previously imposed sentence of 2-1/3 to 7 years in New York State Prison,” Wicks says in the lawsuit. “Judge Wiggins also acknowledged – without going into detail – that because of his understanding of the findings by OCA regarding Hanglow’s treatment of Pamela, he could not impose the former sentence in good conscience because she ‘did not receive a fair shot at treatment,’ or words to that effect.”
A spokesperson for the Office of Court Administration said reports conducted by the Inspector General are “always confidential.”
The Livingston County Council on Alcohol and Substance Abuse, on the campus of SUNY Geneseo, declined to comment, saying it was “unaware of the suit.”
Livingston County Administrator Ian Coyle did not return a call to his office seeking comment.
The woman seeks damages for assault and battery, negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress.