Monday, May 7, 2007

$12.5 million paid to end sex scandal at DYS

$12.5 million paid to end sex scandal at DYS

Youth abuse spurred staff shuffle, firings

A lawsuit involving sexual misconduct allegations at a state juvenile detention facility for girls has ended, now that the state has paid a $12.5 million settlement.

"It is over," said Michael Kendrick, a lawyer in the case that detailed claims that male staff had fondled, raped and sexually harassed girls at the Alabama Department of Youth Services' Chalkville detention facility.

Kendrick filed court documents Friday informing U.S. District Court Judge L. Scott Coogler that the judgment had been paid.

Joy Patterson, a spokeswoman for the attorney general office's, said the state made the $12.5 million payment March 22.

In 2001, more than a dozen girls went public with the allegations, which also included claims of physical abuse and consensual sex between teen girls and adult staff at the Jefferson County facility. A federal lawsuit was filed by former Chalkville inmates and their mothers. The suit sought hundreds of millions in damages.

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