Articles Tagged with sexual assault

On June 12, 2019, attorney Maggie Galka and law clerk Dayna Smith attended a seminar hosted by the U.S. District girl-690327_1920-285x300Court for the Northern District of Illinois entitled “Helping Survivors of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Seek Justice.” They heard from the Honorable Ruben Castillo, Chief Judge, and staff attorneys from Ascend Justice and the Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation (CAASE). The speakers focused on how attorneys from various fields could help individuals impacted by gender-based violence access client-defined justice. Client-defined justice can take many forms such as criminal punishment, civil remedies, or simply having someone there to advocate on the client’s behalf.

Ascend Justice (previously the Domestic Violence Legal Clinic) operates two clinic programs that focus on achieving their mission to “empower individuals and families impacted by gender-based violence or the child welfare system to achieve safety and stability through holistic legal advocacy and systematic reform.” Ascend’s Domestic Violence Division Pro Bono Project pairs volunteer attorneys with domestic violence survivors seeking Orders of Protection. The volunteer attorney takes on the client’s entire case, representing them until the matter is completely resolved, which can involve multiple court appearances. In the Emergency OP Clinic Volunteer Project, legal professionals and law students provide brief services for litigants, which include helping them draft pleadings and affidavits and explaining the court process. The staff attorneys noted that individuals with help or representation from an attorney were significantly more likely to receive an Order of Protection than those who did not have representation.

CAASE focuses its services on survivors of sexual exploitation, including sexual assault and the commercial sex trade. Its mission is to address “the culture, institutions, and individuals that perpetrate, profit from, or support sexual exploitation.” Their work includes prevention, policy reform, legal services, and community engagement. In the legal services section, CAASE staff attorneys and volunteers work in a variety of legal fields to achieve client-centered justice for survivors. Those legal fields can include criminal law, civil no-contact orders, workplace complaints, civil personal injury law, and criminal record expungement. And, because of CAASE’s policy initiatives, the variety of legal and administrative avenues available to survivors continues to grow.

Women and girls who enter inpatient rehab facilities with serious addictions or emotional issues need help regaining control over their lives. They are in an extremely vulnerable position, and may even be suicidal. girl-3964270_1920-215x300Unfortunately, the people hired to protect and help them sometimes take advantage of their vulnerability and sexually abuse them. When this happens, the emotional toll can be huge. Women struggling with overwhelming issues now have to contend with being horribly victimized as well. The predators who commit these crimes against vulnerable women and girls deserve serious jail time. At The Collins Law Firm, we believe that the facilities who fail to properly vet staff and monitor their interactions with patients should be held accountable as well. Our sexual assault attorneys can help victims get justice from the institutions who failed to protect them when they were most vulnerable.

The recent sexual assault allegations at Timberline Knolls in Illinois give us a glimpse into how a facility can fail patients and put them at risk of sexual assault. According to news reports, Timberline Knolls waited at least three weeks to contact police after assault allegations surfaced regarding one of their counselors. In addition, the suspect was suspended and then reinstated twice. And despite Timberline’s assertions that the alleged assaults were isolated events, the facility has a reported history of prior incidents, including sex crimes, runaways and missing persons. It would appear that Timberline did not have the proper procedures in place to safeguard the patients in their care. Unfortunately, the allegations at Timberline are not isolated. Our legal experience has shown us that sexual and physical abuse are serious issues for residential treatment facilities.

At first glance many facilities like Timberline Knolls seem like safe havens for desperate families looking for help for their daughters or for women dealing with a crisis, their leafy campuses seemingly bucolic and safe,  but these outward trappings can be deceiving. Often, there is no supervision of staff-patient interactions. Male counselors may have one-on-one counseling sessions with fragile women and underage girls. Safety precautions may be lax, and when allegations surface, the administration often sides with the staff person and fails to take the victim’s complaints seriously. When victims have their allegations dismissed, ignored or flat out disbelieved, they are left without recourse. In other situations, victims are afraid to speak up and so the abuse continues. In every situation, there is an adult abusing the trust of an emotionally fragile person.

Local press coverage of our most recent lawsuit. In this case, The Collins Law Firm is representing the family of a developmentally disabled teenage girl who was sexually assaulted after being led away from Chaddock, a supposedly secure facility in Quincy, IL. The family is suing Chaddock for emotional distress and negligent supervision.

See the WGEM news coverage here:

http://www.wgem.com/story/37449215/2018/02/07/family-sues-chaddock-claims-negligence-in-daughters-sex-assault

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Chaddock sign.jpg

Quincy, Illinois- The sexual assault of a 15 year-old Chaddock resident is now an issue for the courts. The minor, Jane Doe, was snuck out of Chaddock’s supposedly secure facility on August 26, 2017 by two girls known to DCFS as troublemakers. Jane Doe was then taken to a party, where she was drugged, beaten and sexually assaulted. Now her family is suing Chaddock for emotional distress and negligent supervision.

Chaddock is a DCFS licensed facility in Quincy, IL that is known nationally for its care of developmentally disabled and emotionally distressed patients, but is known locally to Quincy Police as a facility that lets its residents escape. Quincy Police have responded to Chaddock’s calls reporting that its residents have “run” more than 100 times in the past year.

badge
badge
badge
badge
badge
badge
badge
badge
badge
badge
badge
Contact Information