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California Juvenile Detention Center Sex Abuse Lawsuits

Fighting for Survivors Sexually Abused in CA Youth Detention Facilities

For decades, juvenile detention facilities across California have been accused of failing to protect youth and young adult inmates from sexual abuse. And now, thanks to groundbreaking legislation that greatly extends the statute of limitations in civil sexual abuse lawsuits, a growing number of survivors are finally stepping forward to seek justice.

If you were sexually abused while incarcerated at a juvenile detention facility, camp, or program in California, you may have grounds to pursue legal action and financial recovery of your damages under California’s recently amended sexual abuse laws.

Levy Konigsberg is an award-winning trial practice known nationally for litigating sexual abuse lawsuits against powerful institutions, municipalities, and public and private prison systems. If you have questions about a lawsuit involving sexual abuse that occurred at any youth detention facility in Los Angeles, San Diego, or the state of California, we want to help.

Our firm represents survivors across California and offers FREE and confidential consultations. Call (800) 315-3806 or contact us online to speak with an attorney.

History of Child Sex Abuse in California Youth Detention Centers

Sexual abuse against minors incarcerated in California juvenile detention centers has been documented by various investigations and high-profile lawsuits over the years. Some examples of recent lawsuits include:

  • From December 2022 to June 2023, a series of lawsuits were filed on behalf of nearly 600 survivors who were sexually abused and harassed at Los Angeles County’s juvenile facilities. The lawsuits, which name L.A. County and over 200 unnamed officers as defendants, involve abuse that occurred at Camp Kilpatrick, Central Juvenile Hall, Barry J. Nidorf Juvenile Hall, and Los Padrinos Juvenile Hall over a 20-year period. The lawsuits claim that officers and facility officials routinely harmed and threatened youth inmates to keep them silent, provided inmates with contraband in exchange for sexual contact or silence, retaliated against those who reported incidents, and failed to properly train staff and investigate suspected abuse.
  • In May 2023, six men filed a lawsuit claiming that they were sexually abused by guards while incarcerated at juvenile detention centers in San Diego while other prison staff either ignored assaults of worked to cover them up. The lawsuit includes claims of abuse at Rancho Del Campo Detention Center, Camp Barrett Youth Correction, Kearny Mesa center, and other facilities dating back to the 1990s.

These and other similar lawsuits have been filed against the Department of Juvenile Justice and counties across the state. At their core, these claims focus on holding state and county facility operators accountable enabling rampant abuse within their juvenile detention centers and for failing to appropriately investigate complaints, respond to incidents of sexual misconduct between inmates and staff, and protect youth inmates.

LK is Investigating Sexual Abuse Claims from All Juvenile Detention Centers & Programs in California

Levy Konigsberg is now investigating cases of sexual abuse and assault that occurred at any juvenile detention facility in California. This includes all detention centers that were once operated by the Division of Juvenile Justice (previously called the California Youth Authority), the multitude of county-operated youth programs, camps, and secure youth treatment facilities, and facilities and programs that are now closed.

You may have a potential claim if you were sexually abused while housed in these or any other juvenile detention centers and programs:

  • N.A. Chaderjian Youth Correctional Facility (NAC)
  • Ventura Youth Correctional Facility (VYCF)
  • O.H. Close Youth Correctional Facility
  • Pine Grove Youth Conservation Camp
  • Preston Youth Correctional Facility
  • Southern Youth Correctional Reception Center and Clinic
  • S. Carraway Public Service and Fire Center
  • Karl Holton Youth Correctional Drug and Alcohol Treatment Facility
  • Los Padrinos Juvenile Hall
  • Barry J. Nidorf Juvenile Hall
  • Central Juvenile Hall
  • Heman G. Stark Youth Correctional Facility
  • Camp Clinton B. Afflerbaugh
  • Camp Vernon Kilpatrick
  • Camp Joseph Paige
  • Camp Glenn Rockey
  • Dorothy Kirby Center

Levy Konigsberg is investigating a growing number of claims from survivors who were sexually abused at juvenile detention and youth justice facilities across California. To speak with an attorney during a FREE and confidential consultation, call (800) 315-3806 or contact us online.

Statute of Limitations for Sexual Abuse Lawsuits in California

Sexual abuse lawsuits, like other claims brought by plaintiffs who seek damages for injuries, are subject to a legal deadline known as the statute of limitations. When the statute of limitations expires, victims are not able to file claims or recover compensation.

Fortunately, California has recognized that the statute of limitations can act as a barrier to justice for sexual abuse survivors, whom research has shown can take years or decades to come to terms with their abuse and the damages it had caused. As such, California passed the Child Victims Act in 2019 to extend the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse lawsuits.

Under the CA Child Victims Act:

  • Survivors sexually abused as minors can file claims until age 40 (22 years after turning 18);
  • Survivors of childhood sexual abuse who are over 40 can file claims only if they discovered psychological injuries arising from their abuse within the past 5 years.

Some California youth detention centers house inmates who are over 18. If you were sexually abused in a juvenile detention facility when you were 18 or older, your claim may be subject to California’s statute of limitations requiring adult survivors to file within 10 years from the date of the assault/abuse, or within 3 years from the date they discovered injuries resulting from the assault/abuse.

Youth detention center inmates who were sexually abused as adults may also have additional options for bringing claims under the California Sexual Abuse and Cover Up Accountability Act, a law passed in 2022 to create temporary filing windows for survivors who were sexually abused as adults years or decades ago. These two filing windows work as follows:

  • Survivors sexually abused as adults at any time in the past may file claims during a temporary one-year window that remains open until December 31, 2023, provided they can prove that an institution tried to cover up the abuse.
  • Survivors sexually abused as adults in 2009 or later may file claims during a four-year window that is open until December 31, 2026. There is no cover-up requirement for claims filed during this window.

Determining the statute of limitations that applies to your case can be challenging, which is why it is best to bring your matter to the attention of an experienced lawyer.

At Levy Konigsberg, we have helped numerous survivors file claims under the California Child Victims Act, the Sexual Abuse and Cover Up Accountability Act, and the current statute of limitations, and are currently tracking a proposed measure that would eliminate the statute of limitations in all child sex abuse cases. We can review your potential case and discuss whether you’re eligible to pursue legal action under California’s current laws, open filing windows, or future legislation during a consultation.

Do I Have a Case?

You may have grounds to file a civil legal action if:

  • You were sexually abused by counselor, supervisor, or other juvenile detention center staff member.
  • The abuse occurred at any juvenile detention facility in California.

At Levy Konigsberg, we support survivors in civil actions that aim to hold counties and other juvenile detention center operators accountable for their failures to stop abusive staff members and protect young inmates.

As civil claims, these cases are separate from any criminal proceedings that may arise from abuse and focus instead on holding institutions liable for damages. This means you may still have a claim even if:

  • Your abuser is no longer alive.
  • Your abuser was never charged or convicted of a crime.

Recoverable Damages in Sexual Abuse Claims

In addition to providing accountability and a sense of justice, civil sex abuse lawsuits allow survivors to recover financial compensation for their damages, which may include:

  • Past medical and mental health expenses
  • Future mental health expenses, including therapy, medications, etc.
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional anguish and psychological harm
  • Lost income
  • Other economic and non-economic damages

Call For a FREE Consultation: (800) 315-3806

Levy Konigsberg is a top-rated trial practice that’s recovered over $3 billion in compensation for clients. Led by award-winning lawyers, we’ve built a legacy litigating high-stakes sexual abuse lawsuits on behalf of survivors nationwide, and for our ability to take on powerful institutions that failed to protect victims. This includes public and private prison systems across the country.

If you have questions about pursing a lawsuit over sexual abuse that occurred when you were a minor or young adult housed at a juvenile detention center anywhere in California, we want to help. We serve survivors statewide and work on contingency, which means there’s no cost to hire our team and no fee unless we win.

Call (800) 315-3806 or contact us online for a FREE and confidential consultation.


Find out whether you have a case by speaking to one of our experienced lawyers via our 24/7 toll-free hotline or by submitting an email inquiry. Our attorneys will be quick to respond to you and happy to answer all of your questions.

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