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Family Alleges Bashor Children’s Home Failed to Keep Their Son Safe

A 13-year-old boy with special needs was sexually assaulted after escaping from Bashor Children’s Home, according to a lawsuit filed by his parents on February 17, 2021. The lawsuit alleges the facility failed to keep the boy safe, and his mother explained the reasoning behind the family’s legal action to WRTV:

We entrusted this center to give him treatment he desperately needed, and they gave him back to us in a much worse condition than he went, due to their neglect…These kids go there for help and they’re getting more trauma. It’s just awful.”

The allegations in the lawsuit truly are awful and include claims that even though the boy had a history of running away, he was able to escape the facility multiple times. To make matters worse, he was allegedly sexually assaulted by other children who ran away from Bashor, a residential facility that provides services to children with special needs and children from the state’s child welfare system.

Until now, no one has held Bashor accountable for its long history of runaways. The lawsuit even includes allegations that the Goshen police department does not allocate resources to help find “Bashor kids” when they escape the facility.

What Happened in August 2020

The claim against Bashor Children’s Home does not paint a pretty picture. According to the complaint, the 13-year-old left Bashor with 6 other teenagers around 10 a.m. on August 29. The facility allegedly waited an hour and a half before calling the Elkhart County police, claiming the boys left Bashor at 10:40 a.m.

Meanwhile, the group went off campus and began engaging in sexual activity. Allegations from the suit suggest 4 teens raped another youth and then sexually assaulted the young plaintiff. At 2:45 p.m., Bashor informed the family their son had “run off” with several other youths and told them not to worry. When the family followed up later, Bashor gave them little information, and the boy’s father arrived in Elkhart County that evening to physically search for his son.

After a fruitless search in a cornfield, the boy’s mother joined for a morning search. Only at around 9 p.m. on August 30 did the parents find their child at a local park – covered in scratch marks and bite marks. Ultimately, the 13-year old had been missing for more than a day and did not make it through that time unscathed.

He had human bite marks on his arms and was in obvious need of attention,” the lawsuit states.

Worse still, the boy allegedly recounted details of his assault to Bashor staff upon returning to the facility, and Bashor failed to inform his parents. As the lawsuit explains:

Bashor … reported (the boy’s) account of events to police and DCS but not his parents. After taking (his) statement, Bashor staff did not examine him, provide him with any medical care or give him a rape kit; they just told him to go to bed.”

Discovery and Damages

The mother of the child allegedly learned about the assault from the other victim’s parent. Upon completing an investigation and medical examination, police confirmed the plaintiff’s abuse. While the state filed criminal charges against the boys involved in the assault, the victim’s parents filed a civil suit with Thomas Blessing, an attorney with Massillamany Jeter & Carson LLP, on the family’s behalf in Elkhart County Superior Court 2.

The Goshen News shares that the family is seeking damages from Bashor to cover the expenses and trauma relating to the incident.

Due to the private nature of this matter, the parents are identified as John and Jane Doe and did not provide comments to some news outlets.

Civil Suits and Negligence

Civil lawsuits like this one are appropriate when negligence is involved. Bashor allegedly behaved negligently by failing to supervise and care for the minors in this case, and many institutions fail to uphold their duty of care toward children and their families.

If you or someone you love has suffered a physical or emotional injury due to someone else’s carelessness, Massillamany Jeter & Carson LLP can help you file a personal injury lawsuit.

Call us at (317) 434-1490 or contact us online to get started with a free consultation.