Three plaintiffs have alleged that a camp for troubled youth did nothing to prevent or stop the sexual assault and rape of young boys.
Feb 15, 2018 /prREACH/ -- It’s no secret that for some, the childhood and teenage years are a rough time during which they act out and cause serious trouble for themselves and others. There are many ways that parents and guardians try to help these “troubled” children and for some, the decision is made to send the child to a camp.
One of these camps for troubled boys is “Lives Under Construction” located in Missouri. The camp advertises that it uses “Christian principles” to change lives. But recently, a lawsuit was filed against the camp claiming that instead of a supporting environment, children sent there experienced a “culture of perverse sexual assault.”
The complaints, filed by three plaintiffs, alleges that the younger boys at the camp are regularly groped, molested, and raped by older residents. If one of the victims spoke out about the abuse, the camp’s management would punish them and did nothing to interrupt the cycle. In addition to this, the plaintiffs claimed that one employee did attempt to call a sexual abuse hotline to get the victim’s help and when it was discovered that they had placed the call, the employee was fired.
Although current employees deny these new claims, a look into court records shows that there has been one conviction for rape in 2009 when a young boy reported that a then 19-year-old resident raped him while they bunked together. When police interviewed staff members at that time, several admitted that they knew of another instance of inappropriate sexual contact with a separate teenager but hadn’t contacted the police, despite the fact that under the law the counselors and management are considered “mandatory reporters”. In fact, they claimed they didn’t know they had to report sexual abuse to the police. Police arrested the rapist who admitted to his crime and will spend 7 years in prison.
Sadly, in many instances of sexual abuse, when adults choose to look the other way and fail to make changes to keep young children safe, history repeats itself and unfortunately, it takes legal action to stop the cycle.