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A group of brave survivors is stepping forward to demand justice after enduring childhood sexual abuse in Pennsylvania juvenile detention centers. Represented by Levy Konigsberg Attorneys Jerome Block and Clark Binkley, and co-counsel, 16 men and women have filed a sexual abuse lawsuit against the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services for its failure to protect them from repeated sexual abuse while confined as juveniles at three state-run juvenile detention facilities.

For decades, children confined at Pennsylvania’s Loysville Youth Development Center, North Central Secure Treatment Unit, and South Mountain Secure Treatment Unit have been subjected to horrific sexual abuse. Despite federal investigations documenting high rates of sexual abuse at these facilities, and widespread reports of poor conditions and treatment, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has allowed the culture of abuse to persist.

The men and women who filed claims today include those who suffered sexual as far back as 2000 and as recently as 2023. Unfortunately, current law in Pennsylvania bars individuals who were born prior to November 26, 1989 from bringing claims for childhood sexual abuse. As a result, untold numbers of survivors who were abused in earlier decades continue to suffer in silence.

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

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

Despite the well-documented abuse of children in the juvenile detention system, little was done by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to protect these children or to punish their abusers. Indeed, in 2010, the director of Pennsylvania’s Bureau of Juvenile Justice Services dismissed federal reports of sexual abuse in the state’s facilities, saying that children in the facilities “whose IQs are rather low” could not understand questions about whether they had been abused.

It is this shocking and callous negligence on the part of the Commonwealth that has prompted the filing of this lawsuit.

Leading the Way for Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse

Levy Konigsberg and its team of dedicated trial attorneys are at the forefront of childhood sexual abuse litigation, having filed some of the first lawsuits about widespread sexual abuse in juvenile detention facilities across the country. Over the past year, Levy Konigsberg’s pioneering lawsuits on behalf of hundreds of men and women who were abused as children in juvenile detention facilities in Maryland, New Jersey, Illinois, and Michigan have made national news, being covered by major outlets like the Assocaited Press and the New York Times. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7].

In announcing today’s lawsuit filed on behalf of 16 men and women, Levy Konigsberg Partner Jerome Block stated:
“These men and women have courageously stepped forward to seek justice and accountability for the horrific sexual abuse they suffered at a juvenile detention center operated by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  It can take many decades for survivors of child sex abuse to be ready to come forward to assert their legal rights. These cases once again show why it is so important for Pennsylvania lawmakers to pass legislation that will allow survivors of child sexual abuse to seek justice, regardless of how long ago the abuse occurred.  There are many more survivors, including men and women sexually abused at these same facilities in earlier decades, who are unable to file their cases of child sexual abuse under current Pennsylvania law.”

Levy Konigsberg represents hundreds survivors of sexual abuse at juvenile detention and residential facilities across Pennsylvania 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 childhood sexual abuse that occurred at juvenile detention or residential treatment facilities in Pennsylvania, then speak with our team today.

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

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