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Chicago group home operator facing sexual abuse lawsuit

The operator of suburban group home, the Allendale Association, in southern Illinois has been accused of negligently allowing an employee to sexually abuse a then-16-year-old girl for almost two years. The girl's foster mother is allegedly suing the home's operator on behalf of the young girl for more than $100,000 in damages.

According to news reports, a 51-year-old man was taken into custody this past February on charges of sexually abusing a ward of the state. Prosecutors say the defendant met the girl while working as a counselor with the Allendale Association. Reportedly, the lawsuit documents contain a misspelling of the defendant's name, but the firm responsible for filing the lawsuit says they are planning to file amended documents with the correct spelling of the man's name.

According to prosecutors, the defendant sexually abused the girl while she lived in the foster home and then outside of a Schaumburg mall in a car. The foster mother who initiated the suit alleges that the abuse took place while the girl resided in the home between June 2012 and January 2014 and continued after the girl was placed in the woman's foster home.

The Chicago Tribune reports the defendant is currently in custody on a $250,000 bail and will appear in court on July 1, according to Cook County jail records. The Allendale Association has not responded to a request for a statement.

When those charged with the tremendous responsibility of caring for the country's most vulnerable citizens betray our trust, it's important that they pay a price. This price is more to remind others who may behave similarly that justice will find them than it is to benefit any one person. This is just one reason it's crucial for those who have suffered life-changing sexual abuse or sexual assault to seek advice from a therapist or even an attorney.

Source: Chicago Tribune, "Foster mom sues group home operator over alleged sex abuse" Mitch Smith, Jun. 17, 2014

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