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Lawsuit Alleges Middlesex County Ignored Sexual Abuse at Juvenile Detention Center

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Former Juvenile Detainees Sue Middlesex County for Turning a Blind Eye to Sexual Abuse

Six adults who were confined as juveniles in the Middlesex County Juvenile Detention Center in North Brunswick have filed a lawsuit against the county, claiming they were victims of sexual abuse at the facility. The plaintiffs, four men and two women ranging in age from 34 to 45 allege that some of the abuse occurred as far back as 1991.

5 Key Points

  • The lawsuit alleges that Middlesex County “turned a blind eye” to sexual abuse at the juvenile detention center.
  • The alleged sexual abuse ranged from inappropriate strip searches to unlawful sexual relationships.
  • Staff members allegedly offered special privileges and contraband in exchange for sexual favors.
  • Juveniles rarely filed grievances against the staff for fear of retaliation or not being taken seriously.
  • The lawsuit is part of a series of similar cases by Levy Konigsberg against New Jersey juvenile detention facilities.

Allegations of Widespread Sexual Abuse

The lawsuit alleges that sexual abuse at the Middlesex County Juvenile Detention Center was widespread, with staff members, both men and women, “routinely” offering special privileges and contraband, such as cigarettes and food from outside the facility, in exchange for sexual favors. The alleged abuse ranged from inappropriate strip searches to unlawful sexual relationships.

According to the lawsuit, juveniles rarely filed grievances against the staff members involved in the abuse, fearing retaliation or that their complaints would not be taken seriously. This led to a “severe underreporting” of sexual abuse at the facility.

Part of a Larger Pattern

The lawsuit against Middlesex County is the latest in a series of similar cases brought by Levy Konigsberg, a New York City law firm, against New Jersey juvenile detention facilities. The firm has also filed lawsuits alleging sexual abuse at state juvenile facilities in Monroe and Montgomery, as well as a suit against Union County on behalf of eight men and women who allegedly suffered sexual abuse while confined as juveniles at the Union County Juvenile Detention Center in Elizabeth and Linden.

The allegations in the Union County lawsuit are similar to those in the Middlesex County case, with plaintiffs ranging in age from 27 to 52. Both lawsuits were filed on May 28, 2024, in the respective counties’ Superior Courts, and neither county has yet filed a response.

Seeking Justice Under the Child Sexual Abuse Act

The lawsuits against Middlesex and Union counties are being brought under New Jersey’s Child Sexual Abuse Act. This 2019 law expanded the statute of limitations for filing civil lawsuits in cases of child sexual abuse. This law has opened the door for victims to seek justice for abuse that occurred many years ago, as evidenced by the broad age range of the plaintiffs in these cases.

As the legal proceedings unfold, supporting the survivors and ensuring their voices are heard is crucial. The allegations of widespread sexual abuse in juvenile detention centers underscore the need for increased oversight, accountability, and reform within these institutions to protect vulnerable youth from harm.

The Middlesex County Juvenile Detention Center also houses juvenile detainees from Somerset County, further emphasizing the potential scale of the problem and the importance of a thorough investigation into the allegations. If proven true, the claims of systemic abuse and the county’s failure to address it would represent a grave injustice and a breach of trust that demands accountability and change.

 

FAQ

Q. Do you qualify for a sex abuse lawsuit?

A. To see if you qualify, click here.

 

Q. Who are the plaintiffs in the lawsuit against Middlesex County?

A. The plaintiffs are six adults, four men and two women, aged 34 to 45, confined as juveniles in the Middlesex County Juvenile Detention Center.

 

Q. What are the main allegations in the lawsuit?

A. The primary allegations in the lawsuit include widespread sexual abuse at the juvenile detention center, ranging from inappropriate strip searches to unlawful sexual relationships, with staff members allegedly offering special privileges and contraband in exchange for sexual favors.

 

Q. How far back do the alleged incidents of abuse date?

A. Some of the alleged abuse dates as far back as 1991, according to the lawsuit.

 

Q. What other lawsuits have Levy Konigsberg filed related to abuse in New Jersey juvenile detention facilities?

A. Levy Konigsberg has also filed lawsuits alleging sexual abuse at state juvenile facilities in Monroe and Montgomery, as well as a suit against Union County on behalf of eight men and women who allegedly suffered sexual abuse while confined as juveniles at the Union County Juvenile Detention Center.

 

Q. Under what law are the lawsuits against Middlesex and Union counties being brought?

A. The lawsuits are being brought under New Jersey’s Child Sexual Abuse Act. This 2019 law expanded the statute of limitations for filing civil lawsuits in cases of child sexual abuse.

 

Citations:

Deak, M. (2024, June 12). Lawsuit alleges Middlesex ‘turned blind eye’ to sex abuse at juvenile detention center. MyCentralJersey.com. https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/crime/lawsuit-alleges-middlesex-turned-blind-eye-to-sex-abuse-at-juvenile-detention-center/ar-BB1o4HDi?ocid=BingNewsSerp

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