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LAC Dorothy Kirby Center Lawsuit Lawyer

LAC Dorothy Kirby Center Lawsuit Lawyer Abuse Case compensation incident liability attorney sue

On March 11, 2024, news outlets announced that a probation officer was arrested by the LA County Probation Department for sexually abusing an underage inmate at the Dorothy Kirby Center, located at 1500 S McDonnell Ave, Commerce, CA 90040. The officer’s identity has not been released, but she has been charged with the following offenses:

  • Having sex with an inmate at Dorothy Kirby Center
  • Arranging to meet the minor for lewd purposes
  • Smuggling contraband into the facility
  • unauthorized possession of a device capable of recording video / audio within a secured area of the facility

According to County Supervisor Hilda Solis, “The County of Los Angeles is contending with lawsuits from the past about allegations of sexual trauma in our facilities and yet, there continues to be a disturbing pattern of staff… preying on those that need guidance and protection.” Though she was glad that administrators took quick action upon finding evidence of sexual misconduct, she stressed, “there needs to be a clear message of zero tolerance policy on any forms of abuse and swift consequences that follow to eradicate the culture that enables these crimes to occur.”

We couldn’t agree more, but this hasn’t always been the attitude of the Los Angeles County Probation Department, where poor leadership and a wall of silence enabled sexual predators, who caused permanent psychological trauma and bodily harm to countless children who were in the system. Though we applaud this recent investigation and arrest, we can’t forget about the other victims who are entitled to justice for sexual assault by a juvenile hall staff member.

If you were sexually violated during you stay at Dorothy Kirby Center in Commerce, CA, please take some time to speak to one of our attorneys. You may have grounds for a lawsuit against Los Angeles County, but you will need an experienced child sexual abuse lawyer to guide you through the legal process. That’s precisely what you will find here at DTLA Law Group, so please reach out to us for a free consultation on your rights and legal options.

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A Disturbing Pattern of Sexual Abuse at the Dorothy Kirby Center

This recent incident at the Dorothy Kirby Center was uncovered after a phone was found on the inmate, which contained sexual photos and various “communications” between the inmate and the arrested employee. The probation officer was interrogated and searched, and found to be in possession of a cell phone and pill container.

These are contraband items that the officer should not have had in a secured area of the property, so that alone would have warranted an arrest. But the bigger issue is the interactions between her and a youth offender at the facility, with whom she had engaged in sexual relations. Due to a minor’s inability to give consent under California law, such conduct is automatically defined as sexual assault of a minor.

So far, we have no information on when and how the abuse began. Was the inmate sexually groomed over an extended period of time? Were they threatened into having sex with the probation officer, or bribed with special privileges and gifts (like a cell phone)?

We also have to dig deeper into the employee’s record and see if there were previous allegations of abuse by other inmates at the Dorothy Kirby Center. It seems like the department acted quickly with this most recent incident by arresting the officer and turning the case over to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. But the department’s actions, or lack thereof, before this arrest may indicate negligence and misconduct by county officials.

Frankly, there is no way to deny the long and troubled history of sexual abuse within the county’s juvenile halls. This is why so many LA youth detention centers were closed within the last 20 years. County representatives will say that closures are due to changes in the treatment of juvenile delinquents and an overall reduction in crimes by youth offenders. But a toxic culture of inmate abuse is another reason for shutting down these places, and we have helped many of these victims obtain compensation from a sexual abuse lawsuit.

As a sexual assault victim, please know that you are not alone in your journey to recovery. Therapy from a licensed counselor is a great source of help, along with legal advice from a Dorothy Kirby Center sexual abuse attorney.

Can I Sue if I was Sexually Abused at Dorothy Kirby Center?

Yes, you can sue the County of Los Angeles for sexual abuse at the Dorothy Kirby Center, as it’s likely that the probation department failed in their commitment to protect you from sexual assault and other forms of inappropriate conduct. In the past few years, we have seen a record number of lawsuits from survivors of child sexual assault at juvenile halls, foster care group homes, and other LA County institutions.

While there is a specific person that committed the abuse, there is a systemic failure by the probation department in how they handled these incidents. A lot of the supervisors were direct participants in the assault and exploitation of minors, so there was no way for inmates to go to them for help. Even those who were not child abusers did little to nothing when they received reports or evidence of inmate sexual abuse. Some of them actually hid or destroyed the evidence instead of turning it over to the proper authorities.

Essentially, there were actions that LA County officials could have taken to prevent the culture of sexual abuse within the juvenile justice system. This is why they are almost always responsible when underage inmates are abused at Dorothy Kirby Center or any other juvenile detention facility in Los Angeles County.

Should I File a Dorothy Kirby Center Sexual Abuse Class Action Lawsuit?

Joining a class action lawsuit makes sense when you are one of many juvenile inmates whose body and mind were violated by a sexual predator. As mentioned by Supervisor Hilda Hollis, the probation department is still dealing with a slew of lawsuits that were filed in recent years. And our law firm is continuing to receive emails and phone calls from those who were physically and sexually abused at an LA County juvenile hall. Some of these cases go back to the 1970s, from survivors who have learned about the changes in state laws and want justice for what they went through as juvenile inmates.

Whether you should join a class action lawsuit depends on your own circumstances, which we can talk about during a free initial case review. A private consultation will give you a chance to learn more about class action claims and ensure that this type of lawsuit will serve your interests.

How Much can I Receive if I Sue the LA County Probation Department?

Juvenile inmate sexual abuse lawsuits can reach settlements of $10,000,000 or more, but the majority of settlements are between $1,000,000 and $5,000,000 in the state of California. Because case values depend on factors that are specific to each victim, we hesitate to make generalizations about the amount of compensation you can receive. One thing we can say is that lawsuits involving sexual assault tend to generate higher settlements. If there was sexual abuse of a physical nature between you and a probation officer, for example, the case will probably settle for over $2,000,000. If the abuse was more along the lines of sexual comments, sexting, etc., settlements may fall between $500,000 and $1,500,000.

How Long Do these Cases Take to Settle?

On average, it takes 1 to 3 years to reach a settlement for a Dorothy Kirby Center sexual misconduct lawsuit. This is longer than the timeline for a traditional personal injury claim, such as a lawsuit for a slip and fall on someone else’s property. For one thing, you are suing an entity of the government, so there are complex legal requirements you will need to follow. Then, there are the challenges that come with getting a defendant to admit their involvement in a sexual abuse incident. Though we do sometimes have lawsuits that are settled in about 6 months, the recovery process is at least 12 months for most of these cases.

For more information on how long it can take for a Dorothy Kirby Center sexual abuse case to settle, don’t hesitate to contact our office.

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What is the Deadline to File a Dorothy Kirby Center Sexual Abuse Lawsuit?

The most recent incident of sexual assault by a Dorothy Kirby Center employee was uncovered while the inmate was still at the facility. However, the vast majority of clients that call our office were abused many years ago. This is why it’s essential to understand how long you have to sue for sexual abuse while you were staying at the Dorothy Kirby Center.

Generally, you will need to file a claim with the County of Los Angeles within 22 years of whenever you turn 18 years old. So, what happens if you are over 40 years old, meaning the statute of limitations is expired on your case?

You are still eligible for a lawsuit if there is a delayed discovery of injuries associated with childhood sexual abuse, i.e., the discovery rule. The rule is usually applied in cases of mental health disorders caused by the trauma of sexual exploitation. But finding out that you have such an injury, acknowledging that you were sexually abused, and connecting the dots on why you are struggling can take several decades for some people.

Starting from the date of realizing a physical or psychological injury due to child sexual abuse, you are provided with 5 years to sue Dorothy Kirby Center for monetary compensation.

Lawyers that can Sue for Sexual Abuse at a Juvenile Hall

The sexual abuse lawyers of DTLA Law Group are committed to fighting for the rights of victims and their loved ones. Though money is not a complete solution, it provides victims with a sense of resolution, along with the funds to help them move forward with the rest of their lives.

The road to recovery begins with a free case evaluation with one of our attorneys. That way, you have a chance to ask any questions that are on your mind and what you can expect from a lawsuit against the Los Angeles County Probation Department. If you decide to hire us, you won’t pay a single dime in legal fees, thanks to the Zero Fee Guarantee. It’s Los Angeles County that covers attorney’s fees, which is included in your settlement check. So, if we don’t win your lawsuit, we eat the costs, since we shouldn’t get paid unless you get paid.

We are available to assist you 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, so contact DTLA Law Group to schedule a free consultation if you were sexually assaulted or harassed by a staff member at Dorothy Kirby Center.

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