A teen was physically and mentally abused by adult staff members who were supposed to protect him while he resided at a Pasadena youth group home, according to a lawsuit filed on his behalf.
The lawsuit was filed by John Stewart, guardian of the now-14-year-old boy, against Five Acres – The Boys’ and Girls’ Aid Society of Los Angeles, alleging assault, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligence. The complaint seeks unspecified damages.
A representative for Five Acres did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
According to the lawsuit, the boy was placed in Five Acres’ Solita group home in 2011 after a judge declared him a ward of the court. The boy’s mother died and his father was in prison, leaving no other family members available to care for him or raise him, according to the complaint.
The suit states that a “significant incident of mental and physical abuse” against the boy occurred last September when an adult staff member with a history of attacking and choking the plaintiff punched and knocked him down in an isolation room. The boy was 13 years old at the time.
“The staff member then jumped on plaintiff, continuing to beat him with his fists, until another staff member finally intervened and pulled the attacker off of plaintiff and told the staff member to leave the room,” the lawsuit alleges.
The alleged assailant left, but returned with a pair of scissors and cut the boy on his back, causing him “significant fear, pain and bleeding” and requiring him to be taken by ambulance to a hospital emergency room for treatment, according to the complaint.
On other occasions, staff members elbowed the boy until his face bled and stomped on his head after knocking him down during a basketball game, the suit alleges.
The employees also threatened the plaintiff with more beatings, ridiculed him and told him his parents were “retarded,” according to the suit. He was additionally kept in isolation for lengthy periods and “made to feel that he was worthless and unprotected,” the complaint says.
— City News Service
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