Woman sues after Rikers guards accuse her of smuggling drugs to criminal parents
Pity this pimp’s poor daughter.
A Queens woman whose parents were convicted of running a lucrative prostitution and gambling scheme in three counties claims she was traumatized by her own false arrest while visiting her folks at Rikers Island.
Arisbel Gusman’s Manhattan Federal Court lawsuit says guards accused her of smuggling K2 in rain-soaked magazines to her jailbird parents, retired NYPD officer and step-dad Ludwig Paz and mom Arelis Peralta.
Gusman, 21, spent more than 32 hours in custody after the incident last January, according to court papers.
Paz and Peralta raked in more than $2 million in just a year of running brothels in Brooklyn, Queens and Nassau, where they charged johns a $160-an-hour rate, said authorities who also investigated active-duty cops who allegedly helped run the enterprise.
The family was living the high life before Paz’s September 2018 arrest, with neighbors noting pricey SUVs, a Mercedes and a Range Rover parked near their Queens Village home, and designer duds and handbags for Gusman, her mom and sister.
But Gusman — who along with her sister was also implicated for having a minor role in the brothel ring — claims she was just a kid forced to pick up the pieces after authorities swooped in on her parents.
“Up until the day that virtually her entire immediate family was arrested, she was a college student with a part-time job who lived in a loving home with her parents and two siblings,” she said in court papers.
She had to drop out of school and get a $15 an hour job in a bid to keep her family together, and was bringing her 10-year-old brother for twice-weekly visits to their parents when she landed in cuffs herself.
During the Jan. 3 visit, Gusman set off a metal detector at the jail’s visitor’s center, was separated from the boy, hauled into a small room and accused of trying to smuggle in contraband, she charges. Officers engaged in “consistent mockery” of her and threatened to call child-welfare authorities when she asked about her brother, Gusman claims.
Gusman’s family only managed to raise her $15,000 bail “after considerable difficulty,” she said in the lawsuit, which also accuses the Bronx DA’s office of dragging out her case even after a lab test a week later found no K2 residue on the magazines.
Because of the arrest, Gusman couldn’t visit her parents for two months.
It’s not the first time Rikers Island visitors have been falsely accused of trying to smuggle in drugs via periodicals, said a lawyer for Gusman.
“There’s something wrong at Rikers Island that they’re routinely arresting people for crimes that have not been committed,” attorney Steven Goldman said.
Gusman, who said she was humiliated and suffers from insomnia because of the incident, is seeking unspecified damages.
A Law Department spokesman said the city is reviewing the legal claim to determine whether the case has merit.
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