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SEXUAL ABUSE LAWSUITS

NEW JERSEY TRAINING SCHOOL SEXUAL ABUSE LAWSUITS

Fighting for Survivors Abused at the Jamesburg Juvenile Detention Center

If you were sexually abused while housed at the New Jersey Training School in Monroe Township, New Jersey, you may have grounds to pursue a civil claim and financial compensation for your losses.

New Jersey Training School, also known as Jamesburg, has been mired in years of scandal involving staff-on-inmate sexual abuse. It was also singled out by a scathing U.S. Department of Justice report that found the facility was among the worst juvenile detention centers in the nation when it came to sexual victimization of youth inmates.

Now, Levy Konigsberg is helping former youth inmates housed at New Jersey Training School step forward in the fight for justice. In January 2024, we filed a civil lawsuit on behalf of 50 men who were sexually abused while detained at NJTS and are working with a growing number of others to explore their eligibility for litigation under the recently passed New Jersey Child Sexual Abuse Act. If you have a potential case, we want to help.

Levy Konigsberg is an award-winning trial practice with a reputation for litigating sexual abuse lawsuitsagainst juvenile detention facilities, public and private prison systems, and other powerful institutions across the country. We’ve recovered over $50 million in compensation for survivors and are trusted to take on the toughest cases. Call or contact us online to request a FREE and confidential consultation.

Levy Konigsberg: Leading the Fight for New Jersey Training School Sexual Abuse Victims

In January 2024, Levy Konigsberg Attorneys Moshe Maimon and Clark Binkley filed a civil lawsuit on behalf of 50 men who were sexually abused while housed at the New Jersey Training School.

As detailed in our complaint, youth inmates housed at NJTS 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 youth under their care. The suit aims to hold the State of New Jersey, which operates the Juvenile Justice Commission, accountable for its failed oversight of the facility and for supervisors’ chronic failures to reign in a systemic problem of sexual abuse, violence, and exploitation among staff.

As noted in the complaint, our investigations have found that sexual abuse may have been committed by a variety of employees at the New Jersey Training School, including:

  • Correctional/detention officers
  • Counselors
  • Supervisors
  • Teachers
  • Nurses
  • Other staff and volunteers

The lawsuits we have filed, which were made possible by a New Jersey law extending the statute of limitations in civil childhood sexual abuse cases, are only the tip of the iceberg. Our firm also currently represents more than 150 survivors who were sexually abused at various New Jersey juvenile detention facilities and continues to speak with others who are looking for information about their right to step forward. We’re readily available to discuss whether you have grounds to pursue a claim as well.

Learn more about your rights and options for seeking the compensation you deserve. Give us a call at or complete an online form to request a FREE and confidential consultation.

History of Sexual Abuse at New Jersey Training School

The New Jersey Training School (NJTS), also known simply as “Jamesburg,” is the largest juvenile justice facility in the state. Located in Monroe Township, it is operated by the New Jersey Juvenile Justice Commission as a secure care facility that houses approximately 200 male juveniles ranging in age from 12 to 23 years old.

Despite having “school” in its name, NJTS is a prison-like detention facility with roots dating back to 1867, when it was opened as a home for troubled youth. For decades, it has been criticized for abhorrent conditions and for promoting a staffing culture that condoned exploitation, violence, and rampant sexual abuse.

The New Jersey Training School’s damning legacy of violence, poor conditions, and sexual abuse has been documented by various investigations and legal filings over the years. Some examples include:

  • In June 2022, a report from the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice – $600K to Damage Our Kids Forever: A Youth Incarceration Disaster – detailed how New Jersey has invested millions of dollars into its failed and shameful youth incarceration system by sharing the stories of youth currently and formerly incarcerated in juvenile detention facilities statewide. This includes many youth inmates from the New Jersey Training School, who detailed the prevalence of conditions likely to lead to sexual abuse, including its remote location that isolated detainees from family and support networks, dehumanizing practices of regularly placing children in solitary conferment, and depriving youth of adequate food, clothing, and other necessities unless their families could afford items at overpriced commissary.
  • In June 2017, a former inmate filed a civil lawsuit against the NJ Juvenile Justice Commission after he was sexually assaulted by supervisor Karen Selmon while incarcerated at the New Jersey Training School in June 2015. According to the suit, Selmon, who had a history of mental illness and sexual misconduct and later pled guilty to criminal sexual conduct, offered to provide the then 19-year-old inmate with contraband in exchange for favors before engaging in sex with him in an isolated area of the detention center. The lawsuit also claimed that the facility’s superintendent, Lionel Henderson, knowingly ignored a culture of improper sexual behavior within the Commission’s largest housing complex.
  • In January 2010, a report released by the U.S. Department of Justice found that the New Jersey Training School was among 13 facilities nationwide with the highest rate of youth inmates subjected to sexual abuse. According to the report, nearly one in every three juveniles at the facility reported some type of sexual victimization. The DOJ report also noted high rates of sexual victimization at other New Jersey juvenile detention facilities.
  • In December 1987, the New Jersey Free Press published a report showing high rates of sexual abuse complaints at New Jersey juvenile detention facilities, including the New Jersey Training School. It also quoted the head of the state Juvenile Detention Monitoring Unit who commented that overcrowding at facilities likely leads to more incidents of child abuse. The report is one of many insights showing how NJTS has struggled with a decades-long sexual abuse problem.

New Jersey Child Victims Act Gives NJTS Sex Abuse Survivors New Opportunities to File Civil Claims

Like other types of civil claims brought by plaintiffs looking to recover damages, sexual abuse lawsuits are subject to what’s known as a statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is essentially a legal deadline that, once it expires, bars victims from filing claims or recovering compensation.

Fortunately, New Jersey lawmakers have recognized how the statute of limitations acts as a profound 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 damage it has caused in their lives. In fact, current research has noted that survivors of childhood sexual abuse who step forward to file civil claims don’t do so until an average age of 52.

In response to a growing understanding of the effects of sexual abuse and the challenges survivors face in the fight for justice, New Jersey passed the Child Victims Act in 2019. This groundbreaking law greatly expanded the statute of limitations in civil sexual abuse cases and provided survivors with more opportunities to file claims against abusers and any institutions that failed to protect them.

Under the NJ Child Victims Act and other legal amendments, survivors of sexual abuse have more time to file claims. For example:

  • Survivors of childhood sexual abuse (abuse that occurred when the victim was under 18 years of age) have until the age of 55 to file civil claims against their abusers and any responsible institutions.
  • Survivors who were sexually abused as adults (age 18 or older) must file civil lawsuits within seven years of the last act of sexual abuse.

Determining the statute of limitations in your case can be challenging, which is why it is best to have your matter evaluated personally by an attorney. At Levy Konigsberg, our award-winning team has extensive experience representing survivors in New Jersey sexual abuse lawsuits against many powerful defendants and institutions, and can help you understand how the statute of limitations works and whether you have grounds to pursue legal action.

Do I Have a Case?

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

  • You were sexually abused by a correctional officer, counselor, supervisor, teacher, nurse, or other NJTS staff member.
  • The abuse occurred while you were incarcerated at the New Jersey Training School in Monroe Township.

At Levy Konigsberg, we support survivors in civil lawsuits that look to hold the Juvenile Justice Commission and the State of New Jersey accountable for failures to stop abusive staff and protect NJTS inmates. As civil claims, these cases are separate from any criminal proceedings that may arise in connection with 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.

How Much is My New Jersey Training School Sexual Abuse Lawsuit Worth?

The value of any sexual abuse lawsuit depends on the specific facts and circumstances involved. Generally, these civil claims will allow survivors to recover compensation for:

  • Past medical and mental health expenses
  • Future costs of therapy, medications, and other mental health care
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional anguish and psychological harm
  • Lost income
  • Other economic and non-economic damages

At Levy Konigsberg, we understand that sexual abuse can have profound and lasting damages that harm survivors and their loved ones in innumerable ways. It’s why we devote extensive resources to not only proving liability, but also to illustrating the full scope of losses suffered by our clients. This allows us to help them seek the justice they deserve and position them for the maximum financial recovery possible.

Call For a FREE Consultation:

Levy Konigsberg is a top-rated trial practice that’s recovered over $3 billion in compensation for clients, including millions of dollars for survivors of sexual abuse. We’re led by award-winning trial lawyers and are known for handling the toughest and most consequential claims.

If you have questions about pursuing a lawsuit over sexual abuse that occurred when you were a minor or young adult housed at the New Jersey Training School in Monroe, we want to help. We offer no-cost and completely confidential consultations and work on contingency, which means there is no fee unless we win.

Call or contact us online for a FREE and confidential consultation.

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