Fighting for Survivors Abused at Summit Academy 

The Summit Academy is a private, residential school for court-adjudicated and at-risk youth aged 13-19. The school purports to provide rehabilitation and recovery for students who have experienced substantial trauma and challenges in their past. 

However, instead of honoring its promise and solemn responsibility to protect these vulnerable youth, Summit Academy faces scandals and lawsuits indicating that residents were exposed to predators and abusers. Summit Academy staff have allegedly sexually molested children in its facilities on several occasions. 

An increasing number of survivors are filing legal cases to hold Summit Academy accountable for the physical and sexual abuse they suffered and the school’s failure to fulfill its duty of care.

If you or someone you love were sexually abused at Summit Academy, 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 Summit Academy

The problematic history of sexual abuse at the Summit Academy has been documented by high-profile court filings, criminal indictments, and investigations. The information found throughout these investigations demonstrated that the Summit Academy had neither implemented policies and safety precautions to safeguard the children nor adequately screened, trained, and supervised its workers. Their negligence created an environment conducive to abuse. It exposed students to sexual assault, which was frequently perpetrated by Summit Academy staff. Examples of sexual abuse in Summit Academy include the following:

  • In 2023, seven former residents of the Summit Academy filed a class action lawsuit alleging that they were victims of sexual, emotional, and physical abuse when they lived in the juvenile detention and rehabilitative school. 

According to the lawsuit, Summit Academy allegedly restricted many of the children’s interactions with the outside world, trapping the children with their abusers. As a result, it was nearly impossible for the children who were allegedly abused at the facility to get help or stop the abuse. 

Additionally, the lawsuit claimed there was no safe and transparent way for victims to report abuse at Summit Academy; those who did so were reportedly ignored or, worse, targeted for retaliation, which made the trauma of the abuse much more intense.

  • In 2017, Jordan Dominique Ondish, 24, a special education instructor at Summit Academy, was sacked after being accused of having sex with a student. A staff member at the school reported the incident after discovering a phone filled with graphic text conversations between the victim and his teacher in the student’s room. According to the police affidavit, Ondish allegedly had sex with the student twice in her classroom. She faced charges of institutional sexual abuse.
  • In April 2013, Dr. David Evanko admitted to sexually abusing two students at Summit Academy, where he had worked as a consulting physician in the 2000s. Dr. Evanko, a serial abuser, was already serving a jail term for abusing children while serving as a Boy Scout leader in the 1980s and 1990s. He received a term of 14.5 years in jail for the Summit Academy abuse cases. 

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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