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Civil lawsuit involving Boys and Girls Club of Kern County settles for nearly $1 million

Posted at 5:01 PM, Nov 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-14 22:45:13-05

A settlement has been reached in a civil lawsuit filed against the Boys and Girls Club of Kern County regarding allegations of sexual assault.

The club agreed to pay $975,000 to the family of a 6-year-old boy who claims the boy was sexually assaulted by another club member inside one of the club's bathrooms in 2016.

The lawsuit claimed that the Boys and Girls Club didn't follow their training on how to prevent peer on peer sexual assault or suggestions from local law enforcement to internally investigate the claim and to notify parents.

The trial began two and a half weeks ago and a settlement was presented to the court yesterday. 23ABC initially reported the story on October 25.

Daniel Rodriguez, who was representing the family of the boy says settling the case was the best option because it prevented the child from having to relive the alleged sexual assault. He also says and it brings awareness to parents across the county about the possibility of peer on peer sexual assault.

"By bringing this case to trial, it alerted people to the possible, to the potential dangers of child sex abuse in conditions or situations such as the Boys and Girls Club and other locations," Rodriguez said. "The only way you're going to address child sex abuse is by talking about it, getting the community to talk about it and becoming aware of it."

The attorney who represented the Boys and Girls Club during the trial sent a statement in response to the settlement.

We have resolved a lawsuit concerning allegations around the safety protocols of our organization.

At the time of the alleged incident, all policies and procedures were followed by the staff. We cooperated fully with authorities and reinforced our safety protocols with all staff.

The safety and protection of the children we serve is our number one priority. Our organization is committed to the highest standards of ethical behavior and integrity and does not tolerate inappropriate or illegal activity on the part of any Club staff, volunteer or youth member. All supervisory policies are designed to ensure the maximum safety and protection of Club members and staff.