Cook County Record

Friday, December 13, 2019

Guardian alleges Easter Seals of Metro Chicago didn't stop sexual abuse of person with disabilities in their care

By Tia Benton | Dec 3, 2015


A guardian is suing a Cook County group home for young adults with developmental disabilities, alleging failure to protect one of its residents from sexual abuse.

A plenary guardian for a person with disabilities filed a lawsuit Oct. 21 against Easter Seals of Metropolitan Chicago, Easter Seals of Joilet Region Inc. and Easter Seals, Inc. in Cook County Circuit Courts.

According to the complaint, the alleged victim endured harassment and sexual abuse in the form of unsolicited touching of sexual organs, requests to touch the aggressor's sexual organs, performance of oral sex upon the victim, and masturbation in the victim's presence, all by a fellow resident, identified as Person X. 

The suit alleges the abuse lasted for weeks. Not only was the resident sexually abused, but the victim's personal items were stolen and furniture damaged, the suit says. The guardian said she was informed of the abuse via the principal of the school, the lawsuit states.

The suit says the defendant failed to protect the victim from sexual assault and abuse, failed to supervise all residents to prevent occurrences of this kind, failed to provide adequate security for the victim, and failed to provide property trained and competent staff.

The plaintiff alleges severe and permanent emotional distress, as well as humiliation, indignity and disgrace, required medical care and otherwise incurred economic and non-economic damages.

The guardian seeks damages of more than $50,000, plus court costs, and is represented by attorney Bryan J. O'Connor of O'Connor Law Group in Chicago.

Cook County Circuit Court case number 2015-L010704.

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