THE FIRM YOU GO TO WHEN THE
STAKES ARE HIGH

SEXUAL ABUSE LAWSUITS

THOMAS J.S. WAXTER CHILDREN’S CENTER SEXUAL ABUSE LAWSUITS

Fierce Advocacy From an Award-Winning Sexual Abuse Team

Levy Konigsberg is leading the fight for former youth inmates who were sexually abused in juvenile detention facilities across Maryland and is actively investigating claims from survivors who were abused at the Thomas J.S. Waxter Children’s Center in Laurel.

As the state’s primary juvenile detention facility until its closure in 2022, the Thomas J.S. Waxter Children’s Center faced years of criticism over poor conditions, inadequately trained staff, and rampant violence. As the record shows, Waxter supervisors also struggled to reign in a culture of concealment and cover ups that enabled staff-on-inmate sexual abuse to persist for decades.

Now, Levy Konigsberg is helping a growing number of former youth inmates seek justice under newly expanded Maryland laws that allow for claims to be filed over child sexual abuse that occurred at any time in the past. We currently represent over 400 former youth inmates in claims involving sexual abuse in Maryland juvenile detention facilities, including numerous survivors who were housed at the Thomas J.S. Waxter Children’s Center. If you have a potential case, we want to help.

Levy Konigsberg is a nationally recognized trial practice known for litigating sexual abuse lawsuits against juvenile detention facilities and other powerful institutions and has recovered millions of dollars in compensation for survivors. If you have questions about your rights and options, call or contact us online for a FREE consultation.

Levy Konigsberg is Leading the Fight for Thomas J.S. Waxter Sex Abuse Survivors

Levy Konigsberg is leading the charge for survivors who were sexually abused at juvenile detention facilities across Maryland, including many who now have the renewed right to pursue justice and compensation under the state’s recently passed Child Victims Act.

  • In February 2024, our firm filed suit on behalf of 63 men and women who were sexually abused at 15 different Maryland juvenile detention facilities, including the Thomas J.S. Waxter Children’s Center. The suits include claims over sexual abuse that date back as far as the 1960s and as recently as the 2010s and cites numerous failures by the State of Maryland in investigating and stopping the abuse.
  • In November and December 2023, our firm filed lawsuits on behalf of more than 80 survivors who had been sexually abused as children at Thomas J.S. Waxter Children’s Center, Cheltenham Youth Detention Center, and Charles H. Hickey, Jr. School. These suits were covered by the Baltimore Sun and the Associated Press in articles highlighting the bravery of survivors who are finally being heard.

Our firm currently represents over 200 survivors sexually abused in Maryland juvenile detention centers and continues to hear from numerous others who are taking courageous steps to seek justice and assert their rights under new Maryland laws.

At Levy Konigsberg, we’re proud to serve as bold and unwavering advocates for these survivors and are committed to helping as many people as we can. If you have questions about any of our pending cases or a potential case of your own, we encourage you to reach out for a FREE and confidential consultation.

Thomas J.S. Waxter Children’s Center Sex Abuse Survivors Can Seek Justice Under the Maryland Child Victims Act

Survivors who were sexually abused at the Thomas J.S. Waxter Children’s Center are stepping forward in increasing numbers to file civil claims for compensation.

Many of these claims, which deal with sexual abuse dating as far back as the 1960s, have been made possible by the Maryland Child Victims Act, a groundbreaking measure signed into law in April 2023 that gives survivors who were sexually abused as minors unprecedented opportunities to pursue justice against abusers and any institutions that failed to protect them.

Maryland’s Child Victims Act has two key components:

  1. The CVA eliminates the statute of limitations for civil lawsuits based on child sexual abuse, which means that there is no deadline by which survivors must initiate legal action.
  2. The CVA creates an unlimited lookback period that allows child sexual abuse survivors to file lawsuits over abuse that occurred at any time in the past, even if such claims were barred by the previous statute of limitations.

The Child Victims Act went into effect on October 1, 2023, and has already prompted a deluge of civil lawsuits, including numerous Maryland child sexual abuse claims filed by Levy Konigsberg against juvenile detention centers, state agencies, and other institutions.

As a firm experienced in fighting for sexual abuse survivors and handling claims under the Maryland Child Victims Act, we’re available to evaluate your rights and options for taking legal action over sexual abuse that occurred at the Thomas J.S. Waxter Children’s Center– no matter how long ago it occurred.

Records Paint Damning History of Abuse at Waxter Children’s Center

The Thomas J.S. Waxter Children’s Center was a secure detention center for female youth operated by the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services. Prior to its closure in 2022, it was the state’s primary detention facility for girls.

Over its many years in operation, the Waxter Children’s Center was mired in controversy. From various reports, investigations, and legal filings, the record shows that Waxter struggled with poor conditions, violent and abusive staff, and a chronic lack of oversight. These problems and the Center’s prisonlike environment contributed to a pervasive staff-on-inmate sexual abuse problem.

Some of the investigations and legal filings that detail the history of abuse at Waxter include:

  • In December 2023, The Baltimore Sun profiled 20 lawsuits filed by Levy Konigsberg on behalf of women who were sexually abused as minors while housed at the Thomas J.S. Waxter Children’s Center. According to our lawsuits, the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services (DJS) overwhelmingly failed to protect youth inmates or punish abusers, which included counselors, supervisors, and other facility staff, and facilitated a traumatizing, prisonlike environment where staff-on-inmate sexual abuse thrived. Our firm filed additional lawsuits on behalf of Waxter sex abuse survivors in February 2024 and continues to investigate more.
  • In December 2016, an article published in The Baltimore Sun revealed alarming findings about gender inequality in Maryland’s juvenile justice system and serious problems in facilities, like Waxter Children’s Center, that primarily housed girls. According to the article, female youth in Maryland were disproportionately incarcerated for low-level offenses and were more likely to be taken before a judge for minor infractions such as breaking curfew, running away, or defying their parents. The article also noted how Waxter and other girls’ facilities were unsafe, dilapidated, and lacking in rehabilitative services when compared to facilities for male youth and that half of the 330 suicide attempts and reported suicide ideations across all of Maryland’s juvenile facilities in 2015 were at Waxter.
  • In December 2009, an article published by The Daily Record detailed a push by advocates, including the American Civil Liberties Union and Advocates for Children and Youth, to shut down the Waxter Children’s Center, which had been the subject of four special reports from the Juvenile Justice Monitoring Unit of the Attorney General’s Office between 2006 and 2009. Advocates cited, among many problematic reasons, the ongoing abuse of children by unqualified staff and the Monitoring Unit’s own recommendation to shutter the facility.
  • In March 2007, a Special Report by Maryland’s Independent Juvenile Justice Monitor concluded that Waxter had “outlived its usefulness” and recommended that it be shut down. The report further noted that the facility was plagued by inadequate training, insufficient staffing, cruel overuse of solitary confinement and seclusion, and a dangerous lack of sightlines in the facility’s design, making it easier for staff to hide what was going on in the facility.
  • In May 2006, the Washington Post published an article chronicling the many problems that plagued juvenile justice facilities in Maryland. The article cited reports on conditions at Waxter and other Maryland youth centers which found that DJS facilities continued to be sites for rampant child abuse, assaults, underfunding, inadequate training, and overly aggressive staff. It also quoted Maryland’s former Independent Monitor as saying that such conditions appeared to have been unchanged from his many years monitoring DJS facilities.
  • In May 2006, another article published by The Baltimore Sun detailed similar problems with Maryland juvenile facilities, as well as a report filed by Maryland’s Independent Juvenile Justice Monitor after witnessing a Waxter staff member punching a girl in DJS custody while she screamed for him to get off of her.

Do I Have a Case?

You may have a case if:

  • You were sexually abused by a counselor, supervisor, teacher, or other juvenile detention center staff member.
  • The abuse occurred while you were housed at the Thomas J.S. Waxter Children’s Center at any time in the past.

Levy Konigsberg represents survivors in civil actions intended to hold the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services, the State of Maryland, and other responsible entities accountable for their failures to stop abusive staff members and protect female youth housed at the Waxter Children’s Center.

As civil claims, these cases are separate from any criminal investigations or proceedings that may be brought against abusers and focus instead on holding institutions liable for damages. This means you may still have a claim even if your abuse is deceased, never charged with a crime, or never convicted.

Recoverable Damages in Maryland 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 expenses for therapy, medications, and other mental health care
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional anguish and psychological harm
  • Lost income
  • Other economic and non-economic damages

In addition to giving survivors more time to file claims, the Maryland Child Victims Act increased the statutory cap on civil damages for child sexual abuse lawsuits. Under the law, survivors can recover:

  • Up to $1.5 million in non-economic damages, which includes things like pain and suffering, when filing against a private institution.
  • Up to $890,000 in non-economic damages against public and government entities.

The statutory cap applies to each incident of abuse and only to non-economic damages. Survivors are still able to recover unlimited amounts for economic and punitive damages.

Our attorneys at Levy Konigsberg know that child sexual abuse has profound and lifelong consequences and are available to discuss the potential value of your claim and how we can fight for the maximum 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 sexual abuse victims. Led by award-winning lawyers, we’ve built a legacy for litigating high-stakes sexual abuse lawsuits in Maryland and states across the country and are known for taking on powerful public and private institutions.

Our Maryland Office: 145 West Ostend Street, Suite 600 Baltimore, MD 21230

If you have questions about a Thomas J.S. Waxter Children’s Center sex abuse lawsuit, we want to help. Our firm offers FREE and confidential consultations and work on contingency, which means there’s no fee unless we win. Call or contact us online today.

A TEAM COMMITTED TO DOING WHAT IS RIGHT

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.

KNOW THE DIFFERENCE

Committed to Doing What’s Right

Over $3 Billion Won

We have represented numerous individuals and groups of workers, winning for them multi-million-dollar settlements and verdicts.

There's No Case Too Big

Our team has achieved groundbreaking victories in highly complex cases and has gone up against some of the toughest defendants in the country.

Trial Attorneys

Our attorneys excel in the courtroom and are not afraid to bring a case in front of a jury if a fair settlement for the client has not been reached.

A Thought Leader in the Industry

Our firm’s knowledge and experience are in high demand, and many news outlets have asked us to share our legal expertise.

Access to World Class Resources

Our experienced attorneys use cutting-edge technology and highly regarded experts to help us achieve the best possible result for our clients.

Changing the World for Good

We not only want to achieve the best possible results for our clients, but we also strive to prevent future harm by changing public health policies.

THOUSANDS OF CLIENTS HELPED

Hear What They Have to Say

OUR BLOG

LEVY KONIGSBERG IN THE NATIONAL MEDIA