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Another group of brave survivors is stepping forward to demand justice after surviving childhood sexual abuse in Maryland juvenile detention centers. Represented by Levy Konigsberg Attorneys Jerome Block and Clark Binkley, 37 men have filed a sexual abuse lawsuit against the State of Maryland for its failure to protect them from repeated sexual abuse while confined as juveniles at the Charles H. Hickey, Jr. School (“CHS”). Our legal team has been investigating sexual abuse claims from former CHS detainees, and we are now taking legal action using the Maryland Child Victims Act.

The Charles H. Hickey, Jr. School is one of Maryland’s oldest—and most controversial—juvenile detention facilities. Despite the word “School” in its name, CHS is in fact a prison-like juvenile detention center that has been the subject of federal investigations for its abhorrent conditions, culture of staff violence, and history of sexual abuse. As detailed in the complaint, children detained at CHS were for decades subjected to sexual abuse at the hands of facility staff, who regularly used physical force, threats, and manipulation to take advantage of those under their care. As far back as 2005, Maryland’s own government admitted that CHS was a “living model” for constitutional violations and promised to close the facility—but it remains open to this day, an ongoing testament to the trauma endured by generations of children who suffered within its walls.

According to the lawsuit, many different staff at CHS were involved in sexual abuse, such as:

  • Correctional/detention officers
  • Counselors
  • Supervisors
  • Managers
  • Chaplains
  • And others

Despite the widespread sexual abuse of children at CHS, little was done by the State of Maryland to protect these children or to punish their abusers. It is this pattern of negligence on the part of the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services that has prompted the recent filing of this and similar sexual abuse lawsuits in Maryland. The state government’s shocking negligence in its failure to stop the sexual abuse of children in its juvenile detention facilities is highlighted in the CHS lawsuit.

Leading the Way for Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse

With the Maryland Child Victims Act (“CVA”) of 2023, which permanently eliminated the statute of limitations for filing civil lawsuits in cases of child sexual abuse, former detainees at facilities like CHS can seek justice and compensation, even for abuse that occurred many years ago. Levy Konigsberg and its team of dedicated trial attorneys are at the forefront of CVA litigation, having filed some of the first CVA lawsuits about the widespread sexual abuse in Maryland’s juvenile detention facilities.

In announcing the Charles H. Hickey, Jr. School lawsuit filed on behalf of 37 men, Levy Konigsberg Partner Jerome Block stated:

“Our clients arrived at the Charles Hickey School when they were young boys in need of the rehabilitation and care the juvenile justice system is supposed to provide. Instead, they were victims of a pattern of sexual abuse that goes back decades at the Hickey School. The sexual abuse inflicted on children in Maryland juvenile detention facilities was severe and widespread. The complaints filed so far are only the tip of the iceberg.”

In November 2023, Levy Konigsberg filed a lawsuit on behalf of 25 men and women who had been sexually abused as children at Maryland’s Cheltenham Youth Detention Center. Earlier this month, Levy Konigsberg filed a lawsuit on behalf of 20 women who had been sexually abused at the Thomas J.S. Waxter Children’s Center, Maryland’s primary juvenile detention facility for girls. Both the Cheltenham and Waxter lawsuits were covered by The Baltimore Sun, in articles highlighting the brave survivors who stepped forward to tell their stories and seek justice after decades of suffering in silence.

Levy Konigsberg, and co-counsel Brown Kiely LLP, represent over 200 such survivors of sexual abuse at Maryland’s juvenile detention facilities and plans to continue fighting tirelessly on their behalf.

Levy Konigsberg is a nationwide trial law firm with a proven track record of representing survivors of sexual abuse. We have the strength, size, and resources needed to file lawsuits against government agencies, religious groups, medical institutions, and more. If you want to know if you can file a claim for sexual abuse that occurred at the Charles H. Hickey, Jr. School or other juvenile detention centers in Maryland, then speak with our team today.

We are leading the way for lawsuits against many other Maryland juvenile detention facilities, such as:

Please call (800) 315-3806 now and request a free, initial consultation with our firm.

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