The Baltimore Sun has profiled a civil lawsuit filed by Levy Konigsberg and co-counsel on behalf of more than two dozen adults who suffered childhood sexual abuse at the Cheltenham Youth Detention Center in Maryland. The lawsuit was filed under the state’s recently enacted Child Victims Act.
NEW YORK, Nov. 16, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — A high-profile sexual abuse lawsuit filed by award-winning trial practice Levy Konigsberg against the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services has been profiled in The Baltimore Sun.
As reported by The Sun, the lawsuit – filed on Thursday November 16, 2023 in Baltimore City Circuit Court – accuses the DJS of failing to reign in systemic issues responsible for making Cheltenham a “hotbed of sexual abuse.” Specifically, it claims that the DJS failed to adequately supervise staff, enact sufficient procedures for preventing staff-on-inmate abuse, and stamp out a culture of secrecy in which guards and detention center staff consistently used threats and retaliation to keep survivors silent.
The suit filed by Levy Konigsberg, and co-counsel Brown Kiely LLP, was brought under a newly enacted Maryland law that lifted the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse claims – was filed on behalf of 22 men and three women, including one man who stepped forward to share his story of abuse at Cheltenham with The Sun.
As noted in the article, this survivor was abused by guards on at least seven separate occasions while he was housed at Cheltenham as a young teen between 1995 and 1997. His experiences, which mirror claims brought by others in the suit, involved guards who exploited their positions of authority to sexually abuse youth inmates and keep them silent, and resulted in life-long repercussions, including struggles with addiction and other mental health issues.
LK Partner Jerry Block Comments on Juvenile Detention Sex Abuse Claims Under Maryland’s Child Victims Act
In an interview with The Sun, Levy Konigsberg Partner Jerome “Jerry” Block, who serves as Lead Counsel in the case, discussed how, in addition to the 25 plaintiffs in the Cheltenham suit, his firm is currently representing more than 125 clients who allege that they were sexually abused at various juvenile detention centers operated by Maryland’s Department of Juvenile Services.
Among these clients, Block noted, are many whose claims of abuse from decades ago were only recently made possible by the Maryland Child Victims Act, which greatly expanded the rights of child sexual abuse survivors by giving victims with previously time-barred claims new opportunities to file. However, he noted that the firm also represents several survivors with allegations of abuse that occurred within the past five years – something he says suggests the DJS has done little to enact meaningful change and put an end to the pervasive staff-on-inmate sexual abuse problem in its youth detention facilities.
The fact that these abuse allegations span decades, compounded by the many investigations into Cheltenham’s alarming conditions and the various campaigns throughout the years to close the facility, Block notes, says a lot about the DJS’ failures. As he told The Sun:
“We believe that this is beyond negligent, that there’s been a culture of abuse, a culture of secrecy,” Block said. “Sexual abuse of children simply cannot take place with this frequency and at this magnitude without there being negligence, and then really a cover up of the abuse, and a culture that just does not respect the humanity of children.”
Read the full article from The Baltimore Sun here.
Firm Working with Growing Number of Child Sex Abuse Survivors in Maryland
Levy Konigsberg’s suit over staff-on-inmate abuse at the Cheltenham Youth Detention Center and other claims involving other various juvenile facilities operated by the DJS have been made possible by the Maryland Child Victims Act. The firm is also representing victims who suffered childhood sexual abuse at other Maryland juvenile detention facilities including Charles H. Hickey, Jr. School, Thomas J.S. Waxter Children’s Center, Backbone Mountain Youth Center, Baltimore City Juvenile Justice Center, the Montrose School, among others.
A groundbreaking law passed in April 2023, the Child Victims Act provides survivors of child sexual abuse with unprecedented opportunities to file civil sexual abuse lawsuits against abusers and institutions that failed to protect them. Notably, the Act has two components that greatly expands survivors’ rights:
- The CVA eliminates the statute of limitations for civil child sexual abuse lawsuits, giving survivors an unlimited amount of time to file claims.
- The CVA creates an unlimited lookback window for previously time-barred claims, giving survivors who were abused years or decades ago new opportunities to file civil lawsuits.
Since Maryland’s Child Victims Act took effect on October 1, 2023, Levy Konigsberg has been helping a growing number of survivors across the state explore their options for pursuing justice and financial compensation for their losses under this groundbreaking law.
If you have questions about Maryland child sexual abuse lawsuits or wish to discuss a potential case, Levy Konigsberg offers FREE and confidential consultations. Visit: www.LevyLaw.com for more information.
Media Contact: Jerome Block; [email protected]
SOURCE Levy Konigsberg
Originally published at https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/baltimore-sun-covers-levy-konigsbergs-suit-over-child-sexual-abuse-at-cheltenham-youth-detention-center-301991377.html
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