Woman raped on Red Line train sues Metro for $20M

A woman who was raped by a fellow rider on a Red Line train in 2016 is suing Metro for $20 million.

The woman, who is proceeding anonymously since she was a victim of a sexual assault, charges that Metro did not do enough to arrest the man who raped her before the incident, to prevent him from being on a train, or to warn riders and workers about him.

Metro was looking for John Prentice Hicks after he was believed to have exposed himself to other Red Line riders a week and a half before the rape, but did not immediately try to arrest him.

The lawsuit argues it was reasonably foreseeable after that incident that he would attack someone.

In 2018, Hicks was received two life sentences for the mid-morning rape in April 2016 near the Glenmont station. He was arrested shortly after the attack.

Metro has a policy of not commenting on ongoing lawsuits.

The lawsuit also accuses Metro of negligence because of the design of the space at the ends of some older railcars.

“[Metro] also knew or should have known that the darkened and secluded partitioned area in the train created an environment in which crimes can more easily be committed,” the lawsuit alleges.

The case was filed in April in D.C. Superior Court, but was only moved this week to federal court, where cases against Metro are typically heard.

According to D.C. Superior Court records, the suit seeks up to $10 million in compensatory damages, $10 million in punitive damages and court costs.

After the rape, which was not immediately publicized, Metro promised to more clearly communicate to the public when significant incidents occur in the system.

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