Lawfirm files claim against corrections officer stating teen was sexually abused in Juvenile Hall

Posted at 9:56 AM, Sep 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-30 12:56:50-04

Chain | Cohn | Stiles and the Law Office of Thomas C. Seabaugh filed another lawsuit today in federal court against the County of Kern and juvenile corrections officer George Anderson on behalf of a young woman who claims she was sexually abused at juvenile hall. 

The attorneys said that this is the third case the team has filed on behalf of a survivor of sexual abuse by corrections officers at James G. Bowels Juvenile Hall, and the second case involving Anderson. 

“The fact that we have three girls over the course of about six months, who have come forward to report sexual abuse by corrections officers, points to systemic problems at juvenile hall, and not just a few bad apples,” Chain | Cohn | Stiles attorney Neil Gehlawat said. 

The victim, identified as “Jane Doe,” alleges that the sexual abuse violated her rights as protected by the U.S. Constitution as well as California law. In addition to seeking damages, the victim is alleging that she was failed by the deficient oversight, training, and practices at Kern’s juvenile hall, which provided the perpetrator with opportunities that he was able to exploit. 

“The purpose of these victims’ stay at juvenile hall was to help them to get back on the path towards a normal life. Instead, law enforcement officers exploited their power and authority over these girls, who already represent some of the most vulnerable members of our society, with devastating consequences for the survivors and their families,” Seabaugh said. “This lawsuit is in the public interest, because it involves accountability and consequences for those who were responsible.”