15-year-old Ashley had no inkling of what was to come on the day in 2005 when she was in Manhattan Family Court on a minor charge.
“You want to believe everybody’s good, everybody wants to help you,” she told me last week.
A hulking juvenile counselor named Tony Simmons led her in handcuffs from the girls holding area to the elevator.
She expected Tyson, as Simmons was called, to bring her up to the courtroom where she was scheduled to be sentenced for filing a false police report.
Instead, the elevator descended to the basement. The 42-year-old counselor pulled down her pants and raped her with calm, practiced precision that made him all the more terrifying.
“He knew exactly what he was doing,” Ashley said. “Everything.”
When he was done, Simmons pulled her pants back up and the elevator ascended to the courtroom. He raised an extended index finger to his lips in a mute command for her to say nothing.
Simmons continued to prey on teenagers in his custody until 2008, when a 15-year-old girl came forward to say he had sodomized her behind a locker in the girls holding area, which he stocked with condoms and cookies. Investigators believe the assaults go back a decade to the rape of a 13-year-old in the holding area.