News10NBC Investigates: Daughter uses DNA to find father, sues NYS over alleged rape of her mother

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BRIGHTON, N.Y. A lawsuit claims New York State covered up a rape inside a facility in Brighton three decades ago.

The lawsuit was prompted by a young woman after she got the results of a DNA test while trying to find her father. In the lawsuit, Maggie Cruz says she knew she was a child of rape. It also says her severely disabled mother’s rape in 1985 was blamed on another patient inside the Monroe Developmental Center on Westfall Road and covered up by the state.

But then Cruz got the results of her DNA test and the lawsuit says the result shows her father wasn’t a patient. He was an employee. Cruz was raised by her grandparents and for a long time saw her mother as just someone who needed help inside the MDC.

“But nowadays I think of someone who I’m very sad for,” Cruz said.

Cruz says she started wondering about her father when she saw a news story about convicted rapist John Horace getting paroled. In the mid-90s Horace raped and impregnated a comatose woman at a different facility in Brighton.

“So going forward from there, that’s what was in my mind was that he was my number one suspect,” Cruz said.

Five years ago, Cruz took a DNA test and the lawsuit on behalf of her mother says the result shows her father was not Horace but a man who worked at MDC and cared for her mother.

Brean: “Did you ever try to reach out and get in contact with your father?”
Cruz: “No.”
Brean: “Do you want to meet him at some point?”
Cruz: “I don’t really think so. I’m going to be honest. I might want to do a drive-by past his house or something and see what he looks like but I don’t think he wants to meet me so I don’t think that’s realistic.”

Cruz hopes her lawsuit exposes what happened inside the MDC and gets her mother private care at her family’s home.

Brean: “Are you happy with where things stand right now?”
Cruz: “I’m very happy that I feel like my mother is close to getting justice. I’m very happy with that. Ultimately that’s the goal – that she will get justice.”

Brighton Police investigated and interviewed Cruz’s father after the DNA test but by then the statute of limitations expired. Cruz’s mother lives in a different facility now.

The state Office of People with Developmental Disabilities doesn’t comment when it gets sued but it said the last patient moved out of the MDC 10 years ago. The lawsuit was filed under the state’s Adult Survivor Act, which is similar to the former Child Victims Act but for victims 18 years and older. The window to file a claim closes at Thanksgiving.