Second lawsuit filed alleging YDC abuse

  • In US
  • 2021-09-14 22:48:00Z
  • By New Hampshire Union Leader, Manchester

Sep. 14-A second lawsuit has been filed by a victim alleging they were physically and sexually abused at the former Youth Development Center in Manchester during the 1990s.

Attorney Rus Rilee filed the lawsuit Monday in Merrimack Superior Court on behalf of his client, Michael Gilpatrick. Named in the lawsuit are state officials, the youth center and five of the 11 men arrested last April, accused of either sexually assaulting or serving as accomplices in the assaults of over a dozen teens at the center.

The lawsuit claims Gilpatrick was subject to "one or more of the following" while in state custody - physical abuse, sexual abuse, mental/emotional abuse, medication without authorization/consent, excessive solitary confinement, unauthorized strip searches, excessive restraints, and/or discrimination in education.

Bradley Asbury and James Woodlock are accused of restraining Gilpatrick while he was assaulted by Jeffrey Buskey and Stephen Murphy in 1997 or 1998.

The former Youth Development Center in Manchester, now known as the Sununu Youth Services Center, has been the target of a criminal investigation since 2019. The center is scheduled to close in 2023.

Gilpatrick's lawsuit is the second individual lawsuit filed after a Merrimack Superior Court judge dismissed a class action suit in May, saying the hundreds of cases involved creates a scenario too complicated for a class action suit.

Over 300 men and women have come forward with allegations involving 150 staffers from 1963 to 2018 at the center.

The case began when David Meehan reported physical abuse and near-daily sexual assaults when he was a teenager jailed at the Youth Development Center in Manchester, now known as the Sununu Youth Services Center. The New Hampshire Attorney General's Office opened a criminal investigation, but Meehan and Rilee, his attorney, brought a civil lawsuit because they thought the criminal case was moving too slowly.

The criminal case picked up steam this spring, and 11 people have been charged with abuse of children in state custody at the Manchester facility and at a Concord facility between 1994 and 2007.

The state urges anyone with information regarding criminal conduct at the Youth Development Center to contact the New Hampshire Attorney General's Task Force hotline at 603-271-4000.

Anyone who was physically or sexually assaulted or abused at the YDC is encouraged to contact their local crisis center. Crisis center advocates are available across New Hampshire to provide free and confidential support to anyone affected by sexual violence.


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