John Jay College’s Stephen Handelman turned intern into ‘sexual plaything’: lawsuit

An intern at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice was turned into a “sexual toy” by a boss nearly 50 years her senior, she claimed in a lawsuit.

When she tried to end the affair with married Stephen Handelman, 74, he said it “felt too good to end,” the woman said in court filings.

The accuser, identified only as Jane Doe, “was abused, exploited and turned into a sexual plaything for her boss,” according to the Manhattan federal court’s complaint against John Jay and Handelman, the Center for Media, Crime and Justice at the School runs and online criminal justice news service, The Crime Report.

Handelman was placed on paid leave Thursday while John Jay investigated, a spokesman told The Post. Handelman did not respond with a message.

After she was hired in 2017, Handelman pressured the then 22-year-old unpaid intern for months over sex, she claimed, gave her raises and introduced her to other journalists.

Headshot by Stephen Handelman
Stefan Handelman

“It would feel so good to go to bed with you,” a drunken Handelman once said in a faint, according to the woman, who said he offered to pay her rent.

She relented, afraid to upset him during a business trip in June 2018, which saw Handelman lay down on her hotel bed with two glasses of wine, she claimed.

Jane Doe ended the relationship in August 2018. She reported it to John Jay, who ordered Handelman not to contact her — a policy he repeatedly violated before quitting, she accused.

Stephen Handelmann speaks
Stephen Handelman, 74, allegedly pressured the intern over a romantic relationship, she accused in a lawsuit.
John Jay/Youtube

Now suicidal Jane Doe, 27, is seeking unspecified damages.

“The safety of all of our students, faculty and staff is of the utmost importance,” said a spokesman for John Jay. John Jay College’s Stephen Handelman turned intern into ‘sexual plaything’: lawsuit


JACLYN DIAZ is a USTimeToday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. JACLYN DIAZ joined USTimeToday in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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