Author Topic: KENTUCKY: Morehead Youth Residents file sexual Abuse Suits  (Read 2462 times)

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Offline hanzomon4

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KENTUCKY: Morehead Youth Residents file sexual Abuse Suits
« on: March 23, 2007, 06:21:17 PM »
"A former resident of The Morehead Youth Development Center in
Kentucky launched a class action filed in the United States
District Court in Frankfort, Tennessee, alleging that her civil
rights were violated through repeated sexual assaults by a male
staff member, The Courier-Journal reports.

The suit names as defendants former youth worker Guy Nantell and
the center's former superintendent Steven Wells.  Mr. Nantell
was fired in December last year, after he admitted to having sex
with a teenage girl at the center, according to state
investigators.  He was later charged with two felony counts over
charges that he sexually abused two girls at the facility.  He
has pleaded not guilty.  His trial is set for January 4, 2005.

State Justice Cabinet officials also ordered Mr. Wells to resign
in May for mismanagement.  According to state records, Mr. Wells
had been aware of allegations that Mr. Nantell was abusing girls
dating back to 2002.

The plaintiff, now 17, was not one of the girls who was
allegedly abused, attorney Hans G. Pope told The Courier-
Journal.  Mr. Pope filed the suit along with lawyer David A.
Friedman, on behalf of many current and former residents who
lawyers believe were sexually victimized.  "We anticipate there
will be dozens," Mr. Poppe said.

The suit specifically alleged that Mr. Wells, who became
superintendent in 2002, ignored allegations of sexual abuse.
"Nantell was able to sexually abuse and assault all class
members because of Wells' deliberate indifference to their need
for protection," the lawsuit said.

Mr. Nantell began work at the center in 2000. In January 2002,
he was accused of improper sexual contact with a resident, but
state investigators found the allegation unsubstantiated,
according to records obtained by The Courier-Journal.   He was
subsequently accused in another 15 complaints of alleged abuse
of residents, none of which were initially substantiated by
state investigators.

The lawsuit said public defenders who represent the girls had
complained about the problem several times to Mr. Wells since
2002.  The lawsuit also alleges that Mr. Wells violated the
civil rights of residents by debriefing them after they met
privately with the public defenders and threatening residents
with sanctions if they continued to meet with their lawyers.

Mr. Nantell has declined to comment on the case.  He referred
questions to his lawyer, Grover Carrington, who could not be
reached for comment yesterday.  Mr. Wells yesterday declined to
comment, saying he didn't know anything about the lawsuit, The
Courier Journal states."

Anybody know what happened with the lawsuit?
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