According to northjersey.com, a licensed social worker from Saddle Brook, identified as Jonathan Barrios, 27, has been arrested and charged with child abuse and endangering the welfare of a child following an alleged incident that occurred during a therapy session. According to authorities, Barrios is accused of inappropriately touching a child under his care in Midland Park, New Jersey.
The shocking incident came to light after the incident was reported to the police in May 2023. The Bergen County Prosecutor's Office has confirmed that the alleged abuse took place in Midland Park. Upon receiving the report, authorities launched a thorough investigation, culminating in Barrios' arrest on Friday, July 14, 2023.
The affidavit of probable cause, which outlines the allegations against Barrios, suggests that the inappropriate contact occurred during a therapy session with a child under the age of 13 years old. While further details surrounding the incident have not been disclosed, the charges brought against the therapist indicate the seriousness of the allegations.
Jonathan Barrios is currently being held in custody at Bergen County Jail pending his first court appearance. As the legal proceedings progress, authorities will continue to gather evidence and interview potential witnesses to ensure a comprehensive investigation.
Authorities are urging anyone with additional information or who may have been affected by similar incidents to come forward and cooperate with the ongoing investigation. The Bergen County Prosecutor's Office is committed to pursuing justice in this case and ensuring the safety of children in the community.
Sexual abuse attorney Brian Kent, Esq., shares valuable insights into the legal recourse available to survivors of sexual abuse by social workers or therapists. Following the recent arrest of a licensed therapist on child abuse charges, Kent sheds light on the options survivors have in pursuing civil cases against those who enable abuse within social services.
Darla Medina: In cases where a victim has been sexually abused by a trusted social worker, what legal options are available to them or their families?
Brian Kent: Survivors of sexual abuse by social workers or therapists have the right to pursue justice through civil litigation. They can file a civil lawsuit against not only the individual responsible for the abuse but also against those who enabled the abuse within the social services system. This could include the therapist's employer, supervisors, or even the agency overseeing their licensing.
Darla Medina: Can you elaborate on how survivors can hold those who enabled the abuse accountable?
Brian Kent: Absolutely. In civil cases, survivors can allege various legal theories, such as negligence, negligent hiring or supervision, and even premises liability. By doing so, they aim to hold the therapist's employer or the social services agency responsible for their failure to properly vet, train, or supervise the therapist, thereby enabling the abuse to occur.
Darla Medina: What kind of compensation can survivors potentially obtain through civil litigation?
Brian Kent: In civil cases, survivors may be entitled to various forms of compensation, including damages for physical and emotional pain and suffering, medical expenses, therapy costs, lost wages, and even punitive damages in some cases. The specific amount of compensation varies depending on the circumstances and the extent of the harm suffered by the survivor.
Darla Medina: That's crucial information for survivors to consider. Lastly, what advice would you give to anyone who may have been a victim of sexual abuse by a therapist or social worker?
Brian Kent: It is necessary to prioritize your safety and well-being. If you believe you have been a victim of sexual abuse, seek support from trusted individuals, such as friends, family, or professionals specializing in trauma. It's essential to report the abuse to the authorities and consult with a skilled sexual abuse attorney who can guide you through the legal process and help you understand your rights and options.