Lawsuit Claims Staffers Raped Teen Boys at Juvenile Detention Center

A former inmate at a juvenile detention center in Washington was allegedly raped multiple times by his own counselors. And he wasn’t alone, a new lawsuit claims.

The allegedly pervasive sexual abuse at the all-male Green Hill School in Chehalis was perpetrated by counselors, a cook, and other staff members, according to the lawsuit, which was filed on behalf of a former inmate and sexual-assault victim.

To make matters worse, state officials “ignored” the repeated alleged abuse and “protected” the perpetrators, the lawsuit claims.

“We’ve heard of at least six or more children at the school being abused by staff,” the former inmate’s attorney, Tim Tesh, told The Daily Beast on Thursday. But he said that number is the “tip of the iceberg” when it comes to the actual abuses potentially perpetrated at the school.

Tesh’s client, a now-21-year-old former inmate at the facility, says he was sexually assaulted by two counselors from 2013 to 2015, and that the state’s Department of Social and Health Services “protected” the abusers. He was 16 years old when the alleged abuses started.

In addition to his two allegations against counselors at the facility, the victim—identified in the suit only as C. O-H—“witnessed other residents being sexually assaulted by staff.”

“They are victims, and they don’t have the ability to consent,” Tesh told The Daily Beast. “They have the keys to these young mens’ freedom.”

“A culture of sexually inappropriate behavior by both guards and staff” has “pervaded” the school for many years, according to the lawsuit, which was filed in King County Superior Court on Feb. 28.

“It was common for the female staff at Green Hill School to engage in sexually inappropriate relationships with the residents, who were routinely minors,” the lawsuit claims. “Retaliation and suppression of complaints were common. Supervision of the staff was laissez faire at best and at worst supervisory staff actively condoned the abuse and protected the abusers.”

O-H was sexually assaulted by Katherine Kimbrel, a counselor at the facility, in November 2013, the lawsuit claims. Kimbrel allegedly began “grooming” him as early as June of that year.

“Subsequent to this, Kimbrel used her position of power and authority to rape Plaintiff regularly,” the document alleges. “This abuse continued the entire time Plaintiff was a resident of Green Hill School.”

Kimbrel, 41, was charged in January with first-degree sexual misconduct with a minor, first-degree custodial sexual misconduct, and communication with a minor for immoral purposes. Kimbrel has pleaded not guilty, and her trial is expected to begin in May, The Chronicle of Centralia reports.

She had previously been investigated—at least three times—by state social services for similar allegations, the complaint alleges. Because of those previous instances, the facility “should have known” about her conduct, but “took no action to supervise and/or provide any protection to residents with whom Kimbrel had daily contact,” according to the lawsuit.

Court documents obtained by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer claim the complaints were “screened out” over a lack of evidence.

For full story visit: