Articles Posted in Sexual Abuse

Washington_DC_view1.jpgThe U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia partly granted and partly denied a motion to dismiss brought by the defendant in a lawsuit alleging failure to supervise a group home resident. Colbert, et al v. District of Columbia, et al, No. 1:13-cv-00531, opinion (D.D.C., Dec. 13, 2013). The plaintiff sued the District of Columbia and a private contractor operating a group home, asserting various tort claims and a constitutional claim after her daughter, a developmentally disabled woman, became pregnant while in the custody of the District. The court declined to dismiss the suit outright, but it dismissed the constitutional claim without prejudice, giving the plaintiff an opportunity to amend her complaint. If the court dismisses that claim with prejudice, it may lose subject matter jurisdiction over the remaining claims based on DC law.

The plaintiff’s daughter, identified in the court’s opinion as KC, was hospitalized at the District’s request in the fall of 2008. A psychological assessment determined that KC needed 24/7 care and supervision, so she went to live at a group home operated by a contractor, Total Care Services, Inc. According to the plaintiff, KC had a history of sexual abuse and neglect, a history of failing to take her medication consistently, and mental impairment.

Total Care and the District were aware of KC’s history and how it affected her condition, the plaintiff claims, but they allegedly allowed her to have unprotected and nonconsensual sex with multiple individuals. The plaintiff does not appear to claim that any employee of either Defendant participated in sexual activity with KC. KC became pregnant and gave birth to a girl named TC, who was born prematurely in April 2011. The plaintiff was awarded sole custody of TC, but she was born with significant health problems and required frequent surgeries and hospitalization. TC died nine days after her first birthday.

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A DC teenager, who was raped by a counselor at a Pennsylvania clinic in 2005, has filed a federal lawsuit suing Washington DC and nonprofit group KidsPeace Corporation for personal injury. The girl, who is a former ward of the city, had been consigned to the clinic, which is run by KidsPeace. In her lawsuit, the teenager says she was sent to the KidsPeace clinic despite reports of previous abuse incidents at the Pennsylvania site.

The plaintiff alleges that the city therefore plaid a role in allowing the brutal sexual assault incident to occur. KidsPeace counselor, Jerry McChristian, has admitted to raping the girl, and he pled guilty to institutional rape in 2006.

This is not the first report of children under welfare becoming the victims of abuse, and Washington DC has agreed to send less children to remote clinics. Just this month, a monitor appointed by the US Congress reported that children at a Florida clinic were being treated like “garbage.” DC officials only found out about the abuse through media reports. In 2007, schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee found out that several children under KidsPeace’s care had suffered broken arms while under “therapeutic restraint.” Rhee is no longer sending kids to KidsPeace clinics.

Sexual Assault Crimes and Negligent Security

If you were sexually assaulted on a premise, you may be able to hold the landlord, property owner, premise manager, or another party liable for the harm that you have suffered. Premise manager, owners, or any entities in charge are supposed to implement the proper safety measures to make sure that no physical or property crimes are committed so that visitors, patrons, patients, customers, and employees do not get hurt, assaulted, raped, robbed, or murdered while on a premise.

If there is has been a history of crimes committed on the premise or in the area, then the premise owner or manager must secure the property so that similar crimes cannot happen again. If you or your child has been placed under the care of a government entity, and you were injured because they were negligent in their hiring of staff or they failed to implement the proper safety/security measures, you may be able to sue the liable party or parties for personal injury.

Our Washington DC personal injury law firm can help you explore your legal options.

Teen sues D.C. for $10M, saying city put her in clinic where she was raped, Examiner.com, June 19, 2008
Ex-KidsPeace counselor admits to sex with teen, Isaccorp.org, July 20, 2006
Youth Counselor Sentenced in Sex Case, Action News, November 30, 2006

Related Web Resources:

KidsPeace lays off 79 employees, Mccall.com, October 20, 2007

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