According to KMOV 4, a resident teenage girl was sexually assaulted during her stay at the Annie Malone Children and Family Services Center located at 2612 Annie Malone Dr, St. Louis, MO 63113.
On April 18, 2021, at around 3:47 a.m., video surveillance shows 60-year-old Darryl Hill entering the teenage girl's room. Investigators reported he did not exit the room until 5:05 a.m. The following day, the girl told other members of the staff that she had been sexually assaulted. Upon further investigation, Hill's DNA was found on the clothing worn by the victim.
Attorney contributor Reed Martens represents victims of sexual assault and their families in civil lawsuits. During a recent interview, we asked Reed to provide insight on the legal options available for victims sexually assaulted by a child service employee.
"Children and family centers that offer residential placement for at-risk children have an obligation to provide a safe and nurturing environment for the juvenile residents. It is their legal obligation to uphold the children's safety and ensure the employees are trustworthy. Unfortunately, we often see accounts of predators gaining positions within these centers, allowing them to exploit the children sexually. The center's administration must do its best to ensure the safety of vulnerable children by implementing sufficient safety measures. Safety measures might include easy reporting systems, background checks for all staff, and security cameras throughout the premice."
"Victims, sexually assaulted at these residential centers, along with their families, should secure the services of an experienced sexual assault attorney to best explore their legal options. If the center failed to implement safety measures protecting students, it might be considered liable in a civil lawsuit. Some incidents of sexual assault only occur due to negligence of a third party, such as a children and family center. If previous allegations surfaced or misconduct had been reported, but the employee was permitted to continue working, the victim and their families could have sufficient grounds to pursue a lawsuit. Victims should know in cases involving negligence they may even receive compensation for damages."