Fox 2 Now has reported that a longtime foster care parent is facing charges of molesting three children in his care in Lincoln County, Missouri.
On February 9, 2022, Ronald Gene Graham Jr. was formally charged with sexually abusing multiple foster children. As a state-certified and licensed foster parent, Graham has taken care of 42 children in his home with his wife. His wife is said to be unaware of the abuse and that it took place while she was away or out of town. He is currently facing charges including ten felony counts that include statutory rape, statutory sodomy, and child molestation. Law & Crime reported that the abuse took place as far back as 1995 but continued in 2010, 2015, 2018, and 2021.
These are not the only allegations made against Graham. He has been under the radar multiple times with victims as young as 12. The Missouri Department of Social Services, who oversees foster care, even found evidence of previous abuse yet continued to place children in his care. Police believe there may be additional victims.
Attorney contributor Reed Martens is an experienced child sexual abuse lawyer in the state of Missouri. Reed helps victims of foster care sexual abuse seek the justice they deserve. During a recent conversation, he explained when a victim sexually abused by a foster parent could file a lawsuit.
"When children are in foster care, they are expected to be placed in the care of trusted adults with their wellbeing and safety in mind. It is crucial that all foster parents are vetted with thorough background checks and other safety precautions to keep the children safe from preventable dangers, such as abuse. Other preventative measures may include frequent home visits and following up on all reports of misconduct."
"When abuse occurs in a foster care home, there may be multiple legal options available to the victims. A criminal suit can initiate criminal charges against the perpetrator and follow up with proper sentencing. However, many times abuse occurs due to a negligent third party, and liability could extend beyond the direct perpetrator. With the help of a skilled child sexual abuse lawyer, victims of foster care sexual abuse can often file a civil lawsuit and receive compensation for damages. They will need to prove the third party is liable due to neglecting the child's wellbeing. If previous reports were ignored, the abuse might be foreseeable and grounds for filing a lawsuit. Victims sexually abused in foster care deserve to explore their legal options and should consult with an experienced child sexual abuse lawyer."