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SEXUAL ABUSE LAWSUITS

TEXAS JUVENILE DETENTION AND RESIDENTIAL TREATMENT CENTER SEXUAL ABUSE

Fighting for Survivors of Sexual Abuse in Texas Juvenile Detention or Residential Treatment Facilities

For many years, sexual abuse in Texas juvenile detention centers and residential treatment centers for youth has been a serious issue. Allegations regarding failure to protect minors from sexual abuse have plagued these institutions. Records reveal that the public and private companies that run these facilities supported a culture of abuse and cover-ups, leading to numerous injuries among young residents.

A growing number of survivors are now coming forward to demand justice after experiencing sexual abuse and harassment in these facilities.

History of Child Sexual Abuse in Texas Juvenile Detention and Residential Treatment Centers

Texas has a history of sexual and physical abuse of minors in juvenile detention institutions and residential treatment facilities. This is evidenced by high-profile Texas sexual abuse lawsuits, prosecutions, and federal investigations. These documents highlight the shortcomings of relevant authorities in sufficiently looking into complaints, reporting staff abuse, and protecting minors. The following are some examples.

Timberlawn Psychiatric Hospital

  • In April 2019, a 13-year-old girl who had previously been the victim of sexual assault was raped at Timberlawn Psychiatric Hospital due to the staff’s incompetence and inhumane behavior. The father filed the lawsuit claiming that the attack caused his daughter emotional distress and continuous need of medical attention.
  • According to investigations, the 17-year-old male patient sneaked into the girl’s room one night when there was only one mental health aide available to oversee 16 children. Even though a doctor had advised that the boy should be closely monitored for sexual violence, the victim and the attacker two were put in rooms next to each other. No charges were brought despite the case being referred to a grand jury. The hospital was closed down before state authorities could revoke its license.

Kingswood Pines Psychiatric Hospital

  • At Kingswood Pines Psychiatric Hospital, two girls, ages 13 and 16, were allegedly sexually abused by male patients in 2015. The girls allegedly suffered assault on the evening of October 26, 2015, according to a lawsuit filed against the hospital. Medical records indicate that the 13-year-old received a rape kit at the Texas Children’s Hospital.
  • Investigations indicated that the hospital did not have enough personnel that weekend to properly supervise the 23 teenage patients under its care. While no criminal charges were apparently brought against them, allegations of negligence in a civil case remain against the hospital and its staff. In the end, Kingwood Pines settled the legal lawsuit.

Laurel Ridge Treatment Center

  • In 2016, a family sued Laurel Ridge Treatment Center, claiming the facility neglected to defend their daughter from the sexual assault by an employee. Alexander Williams was taken into custody on several counts of molesting the 14-year-old girl.
  • According to the lawyers, Williams had access to the victim’s medical records while working as a counselor at Laurel Ridge. He knew she was vulnerable and after gaining access to the girl, he sexually assaulted her. In a statement given by Laurel Ridge in response to the case, the claimed encounter happened off campus while the former technician was not on duty.

Millwood Hospital

  • Two teenage female patients at Millwood Hospital were intimidated and forced into having inappropriate sexual activities with a male staff in 2011. The hospital’s female ward is off-limits to male staff. However,  no nurses or staff questioned the male employee for visiting the adolescent female ward several times during and after his shift.
  • Earlier in April 2003, Donald Hughes, a doctor, was given behavioral counseling and signed a contract promising to respect patients’ personal boundaries. Later that month, Hughes was accused of sexually touching two young male patients at the hospital. He was suspended and reported to the state board and the National Practitioner Data Bank. 

Red River Hospital

  • In 2021, Kelston Quintero, a 24-year-old former employee at Red River Hospital, was accused of sexually abusing a 13-year-old child in a staff restroom while she was receiving five days of treatment for a Benadryl overdose.
  • The arrest document states that the patient called to report the incident. Quintero claimed that he only gave the patient a shoulder pat and that he had left Red River Hospital later due to conflict with his female coworkers. He was freed after posting a $25,000 bond.

Starlite Recovery Center

  • According to a news report in 2012, the Kerr County Sheriff’s Department and the Texas Department of State Health Services are looking into at least two allegations of sexual abuse at the Starlite Recovery Center in Center Point. At least one of the claimed victims is a male juvenile patient at the Recovery Center.

Rockdale Academy

  • In 2019, Jessica Marie Pratt, 25, was charged with sexual abuse of a minor she met while working at Rockdale Academy, a juvenile detention centre. According to police, the teenager reported the alleged abuse to his probation officer. During her interrogation, Pratt allegedly admitted to having three sexual encounters with the boy and erasing any proof of their conversations from her phone before meeting with the authorities.

Lake Granbury Youth Services

  • In 2014, at Lake Granbury Youth Services, Selena Baxter, 29, an intern and licensed professional counselor,  allegedly sexually abused a 16-year-old boy in her care. Their relationship became public after the boy’s mother discovered Baxter’s nude pictures and incriminating text messages on the boy’s phone.
  • Baxter was arrested following a six-month investigation and she was charged with indecency with a minor through sexual contact and violating the civil rights of an individual in custody.

Texas Statute of Limitations

In Texas, the current statute of limitations for civil sex abuse claims depends on when a survivor was born. For those who were born after September 1, 1997, the statute of limitations is the age of adulthood plus 15 years, which means that survivors of sexual abuse as minors will have until the age of 33.

Legislation is currently pending in Texas that would eliminate the statute of limitations and revive expired claims for abuse that occurred at any time in the past.

Levy Konigsberg is closely tracking the proposed sexual abuse measures in Texas and is actively working with survivors looking for information about filing claims under the current statute of limitations.

Do I Have a Case?

You may be able to file a civil lawsuit if:

  • You were sexually assaulted by a doctor, security guard, therapist, or other staff member working in a juvenile detention or treatment facility.
  • The sexual assault took place in a Texas juvenile detention or treatment institution.
  • You were sexually assaulted by another patient at a treatment facility due to the staff’s or administration’s negligence.

Levy Konigsberg represents survivors in civil lawsuits intended to hold operators of juvenile detention and treatment facilities accountable for their failures to halt abusive staff members and protect minor inmates or patients. These civil claims are distinct from any criminal actions that may result from abuse and instead focus on holding institutions accountable for damages.

Therefore,  if your abuser is deceased or was never accused or found guilty of a crime you might still be able to make a claim.

Schedule a Free Consultation

Levy Konigsberg attorneys are award-winning and highly experienced in handling Texas sexual abuse lawsuits. We have established a reputation for fighting for survivors in high-stake sexual abuse cases across the nation, involving juvenile detention center abuse, abuse in psychiatric hospitals, residential treatment center abuse, and others. We want to help if you have any questions regarding filing a civil complaint in Texas for sexual assault that happened while you were a resident of a juvenile detention facility or child treatment program.

We serve survivors throughout the state, and operate on a contingency basis, meaning there is no up-front charge and no payment until we are successful. Call (800) 315-3806 for a free consultation.

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