Twelve brave survivors of sexual abuse perpetrated by staff members at Northwestern Academy, a juvenile detention facility in Coal Township, Pennsylvania, have come forward to seek justice. Represented by Levy Konigsberg Attorneys Jerome Block and Madeleine Skaller, ten survivors filed a sexual abuse lawsuit this week against the Northwestern Academy (also known as Merakey USA) for the sexual abuse they suffered while confined at Northwestern Academy at the hands of employees.

Our legal team is leading the way in investigating sexual abuse claims from former juvenile detainees in Pennsylvania at Northwestern Academy and other facilities.

For many years, Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable children have been sexually abused, neglected, and traumatized at juvenile detention facilities throughout the state, including Northwestern Academy. As a result of Pennsylvania’s practice of sentencing children to juvenile detention facilities like Northwestern Academy for minor offenses, behavioral problems, and school absences, many children who would have benefitted from supportive interventions were instead locked up in traumatizing, carceral environments where they were regularly sexually abused by staff members. Although Northwestern Academy was only operational for around eighteen years, there have been numerous documented and publicized incidents of sexual abuse perpetrated by staff members at the facility. These well-known incidents of abuse began shortly after the facility was opened and did not end until the facility closed in 2016.

While Northwestern Academy is closed, other juvenile detention facilities in Pennsylvania remain open to this day.

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

  • Correctional/detention officers
  • Drill Sergeants
  • Counselors
  • Supervisors
  • Teachers
  • Nurses
  • Medical staff members
  • And others

Despite the widespread and well-known sexual abuse of children at Northwestern Academy, little has been done to protect these children or to punish their abusers. It is this pattern of negligence on the part of Northwestern Academy that has prompted the filing of this lawsuit. The shocking negligence in Northwestern Academy’s failure to stop the sexual abuse of children at the facility is detailed in the complaint that was filed this week.

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 hundreds of lawsuits nationwide on behalf of survivors.

In announcing this week’s filings, Levy Konigsberg Partner Jerome Block stated:
“Our clients were sentenced to Northwestern Academy when they were children in need of help, support, and understanding. Instead, they were sexually violated by the very adult staff members whose job it was to keep them safe. When juvenile facilities enable the sexual abuse of children, they must be held to account along with the predatory abusers. It is not enough that Northwestern Academy was closed in 2016; these lawsuits brought by courageous survivors seek full accountability and justice for the many years of rampant and systematic sexual abuse inflicted on children at this facility.”

Levy Konigsberg represents hundreds of survivors of sexual abuse at Pennsylvania’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 child sexual abuse that occurred at Northwestern Academy, or another juvenile detention center 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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