Fighting for Survivors Abused at Lancaster County Juvenile Detention Center 

Lancaster County Juvenile Center is a state-run facility that offers custody, shelter care, and alternative treatment programs to males and females aged 10 to 18 adjudicated or awaiting trial. However, lawsuits and investigations have uncovered cases of sexual abuse of minor inmates by the detention center staff.

Now, a growing number of survivors are stepping forward to file civil lawsuits to hold the state authorities and Lancaster Juvenile Detention Center administrators accountable for the physical and sexual abuse they experienced and for the Center’s failure to fulfill their duty of care. 

If you or someone you love were sexually abused at Lancaster County Juvenile Detention Center, Pennsylvania, attorneys at Levy Konigsberg want to help. Our team has extensive experience litigating sexual abuse lawsuits on behalf of survivors and knows how to help survivors fight back.

FREE Consultations for Victims of Pennsylvania Youth Residential Treatment and Juvenile Detention Sexual Abuse

Contact us today at (445) 545-2267 or email to discuss your case with our experienced legal team.

History of Sexual Abuse in Lancaster County Youth Intervention Center

The problematic history of sexual abuse at the Lancaster County Youth Intervention Center has been documented by high-profile legal filings, criminal indictments, and sweeping investigations. The facts uncovered during these various investigations showed that the juvenile detention center failed to enact safety measures and other policies to protect the children. Their negligence and inadequate reporting of abuse exposed children at the Center to sexual abuse, often by Youth Intervention Center staff for many years. Examples of sexual abuse in the detention center include the following: 

  • In March 2020, five women who suffered from sexual assault at the hands of a county employee at the Youth Intervention Center when they were minors received a total of $1.3 million as a settlement from Lancaster County. The amounts, combined with another victim’s $400,000 payout earlier in the year, make up one of the most significant settlements in the county’s history.
  • In February 2020, Lancaster County consented to pay $400,000 to resolve allegations made by a victim who, at the age of 15, was detained at the Lancaster County Youth Intervention Center and had been sexually assaulted by  David Stevenson, a former employee of the juvenile detention center. Five female minors at the Center were the victims of several sexual assaults committed by Stevenson when he worked there from 2016 to 2017. The lawsuit claims that the Center received four complaints regarding his behavior with female residents before Stevenson’s arrest, but it took no action.
  • In 2018, David T. Stevenson, 52, a former staff member at a Lancaster County adolescent detention center, was sentenced to 25 years in prison for sexually abusing five minors at the facility. He pleaded guilty to a variety of sex abuse charges, including aggravated indecent assault, unlawful contact, institutional sexual assault, minor corruption, and criminal solicitation. Stevenson was a youth care worker in 2016 and 2017 when he abused females aged 15 to 17. 

He persuaded one of the victims to attempt suicide so that she could be transferred to another facility, where he hoped to pick her up. Stevenson also offered money to two girls in exchange for sex, and he made sexually explicit remarks to all of them.

We specialize in sexual abuse lawsuits against powerful institutions, including prisons, clergy, and juvenile detention centers.

We work on contingency, which means there’s no cost to hire and no fee unless we win.

Do I Have a Case?

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

  • You were sexually abused by a guard, counselor, nurse, or other youth residential treatment or  juvenile detention center staff member.
  • The abuse occurred at any youth residential treatment or juvenile detention facility.

Levy Konigsberg represents survivors in civil lawsuits that aim to hold youth residential treatment facilities,  juvenile detention centers, private healthcare companies, and other facility operators accountable for their failures to stop abusive staff members and protect young residents.

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 with 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

Pennsylvania Sexual Abuse Statute of Limitations & Pending Law

In the Pennsylvania juvenile justice system, the current statute of limitations for civil sex abuse claims is the age of adulthood plus 37 years, which means that survivors sexually abused as minors typically have until the age of 55 to file legal action, as long as they were born after November 26, 1989.

As in other states across the country, Pennsylvania’s current statute of limitations for childhood sexual abuse claims has been criticized for barring numerous survivors from seeking justice and compensation for their damages and for failing to recognize accepted research about the considerable difficulties survivors face when processing their abuse and taking steps to come forward. Thanks to new efforts by advocates and lawmakers, however, there are now several pending measures before the Pennsylvania Legislature that seek to expand the rights of child sex abuse survivors.

These groundbreaking measures, which are expected to pass, will create new opportunities for survivors to step forward and obtain long-overdue justice. If passed, these measures would create a temporary two-year window for child sexual abuse survivors to file claims over abuse that occurred at any time in the past.

Levy Konigsberg is closely tracking the proposed sexual abuse measures in Pennsylvania youth residential treatment facilities and juvenile detention centers and is actively working with survivors looking for information about filing claims under the new extended statute of limitations or two-year lookback window, should these measures become law.

Trust Levy Konigsberg's Legal Team for Proven Results in Sexual Abuse and Negligence Cases

Levy Konigsberg LLP, a nationally recognized law firm, has built a legacy over three decades, recovering over $3 billion in sexual abuse compensation for clients. Led by award-winning sexual abuse lawyers, we specialize in representing survivors in sexual abuse across the country, taking on powerful institutions. Our top-rated trial practice handles all types of sexual abuse or negligence cases, showcasing numerous testimonials and successful case results. You can learn more about our latest sexual abuse work on our blog.

FREE Consultations for Victims of Pennsylvania Youth Residential Treatment and Juvenile Detention Sexual Abuse

Contact us today at (445) 545-2267 or email to discuss your case with our experienced legal team.


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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