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Federal Lawsuit: Youth Offender Sexually Abused in Florida Facility

October 9th, 2010   No Comments   Abuse

The Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) has 60 days to investigate a youthful offender facility after a federal class-action lawsuit was filed by attorneys with the Southern Poverty Law Center this week alleging that a 15-year-old boy at the Thompson Academy was sexually abused. Foster and child advocates and lawyers are expected to closely watch the case and the damages it claims.

The suit claims an employee assaulted the boy, while also alleging juvenile residents endured hunger, moldy and hot conditions.

According to the Associated Press, the lawsuit, filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center, claims the sexually abused 15-year-old boy reported the abuse to the facility’s administrator. Nothing was done, the suit alleges.

“The attorneys who filed the lawsuit said the teen tried to kill himself three times by drinking bleach and attempting to hang himself. The boy – who is not being identified because The Associated Press does not name people who may be victims of sexual assault – was released to his mother’s care on Friday,” the story notes.

It goes on to say, “Jesse Williams, senior vice president at Youth Services International, said the lawsuit’s claims were unsubstantiated. The Florida Department of Children and Families has up to 60 days to complete an investigation of the facility’s procedures, spokesman Mark Riordan said.”

Read the entire story here.

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