Three Special Needs Children, 2-Days-Old to 3-Years-Old Sodomized
Oregon – It’s taken more than two years and hundreds of thousands of records, but nine medically fragile children who were once wards of the Oregon Department of Human Services and entrusted to its foster care program, will share a $15 million settlement reached Dec. 17 at the U.S. District Court in Eugene.
Steven Rizzo, of the Portland law firm of Rizzo Mattingly Bosworth PC, which originally sought $28 million on behalf of the children who were abused while under DHS purview, said the state agency made the settlement offer, subject to court approval, but did not admit to negligence.
The lawsuit was filed in June 2013 after James Earl Mooney, a former Salem resident, pleaded guilty in 2012 to five counts of first-degree sodomy of medically fragile children, ages 48 hours to 3 years, who had disabilities or other special needs. Mooney was sentenced to 50 years in the Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution for crimes that included sodomizing an 18-month-old foster baby in her car seat while his wife attended a doctor’s appointment with another foster child. His earliest release date is June 20, 2061.
Rizzo, attorney for the unnamed minor plaintiffs, alleged that DHS and at least 21 of its current or former, named and unnamed employees were negligent and created dangerous living conditions for children who were wards of the court while in DHS custody. All of the nine children have since been adopted or returned to their natural parents.
In the lawsuit, Rizzo alleged that in 2007, DHS, its supervisors, certifiers and caseworkers were responsible for initially certifying Mooney and his then wife to become a DHS-certified family. The agency placed dozens of children in the Mooney home, and it was recertified in 2008 and again in 2010, the agency confirms. Rizzo’s case argued that while the minor children were in the legal and physical custody of the DHS, it was duty-bound to protect their health, safety and well being.
The suit further alleged that DHS failed to conduct an adequate background investigation, failed to conduct a comprehensive inquiry into Mooney’s history and family dynamics, and failed to request or require the Mooneys to provide copies of medical reports. It said DHS was negligent in failing to conduct adequate fitness determinations for Mooney and his wife, and that it failed to obtain or review other criminal records, and adequately weigh Mooney’s history of potentially disqualifying (for foster-parent status) crimes.
The complaint against DHS points out that Mooney was raised in a dysfunctional family, and had watched his father act incestuously with his adolescent sister. It also contended that Mooney molested infants in the family’s in-home day care, and engaged in bestiality with dogs and cats.
This negligence, Rizzo said, was a substantial factor in causing the injuries and damages suffered by the plaintiffs.
Monday, DHS Interim Director Clyde Saiki said in a prepared statement that DHS had discovered that there were errors with regard to the certification and recertification of Mooney’s home, and had agreed to the settlement.
“DHS knows, understands, and admits responsibility for the damages suffered by these innocent victims,” Saiki said. “The settlement reflects the agency’s accountability for failing to ensure the safety of these children in its care.”
“We believe the settlement is reasonable, and one of the largest, if not the largest, settlements the agency has had to pay,” Rizzo said. “But we endured a lengthy series of motions and discovery disputes since we filed,” Rizzo said.
The case started in front of District Court Judge John Acosta in U.S. District Court in Portland, and the settlement was accepted by federal Judge Michael McShane in Eugene.
“We feel we achieved a successful outcome for the families,” Rizzo said. “These same families are hopeful DHS will take the preventative measures necessary to make sure this doesn’t happen to another child.”
In November, Gov. Kate Brown ordered an independent review of the child welfare practices at the state Department of Human Services.The state also plans to hire independent third-party to investigate problems at DHS’s child welfare program. The state’s advisory committee will focus on oversight and licensing, cultural responsiveness, abuse and neglect investigations, accountability within the agency and financial stability of foster care providers.
Saiki said he is already conducting an internal investigation of this particular matter to determine how it happened and why DHS failed to protect the children.
“As soon as possible, I will take the appropriate action to see that system failures are corrected, and that the appropriate personnel action(s) is taken,” Saiki said.
How can CPS Employees submit manufactured instruments in a Court Of Law in The United States of America and not be held accountable for their actions????
How can the rape and molestation of Our Children while in CPS care be ignored????
How can so many Children die while in CPS care year after year, yet they are not held accountable????
Disproportionality and disparity in the child welfare system
In the United States, data suggests that a disproportionate number of Native American children enter the foster care system.
Differing rates of disproportionality are seen at key decision points including the reporting of abuse, substantiation of abuse, and placement into foster care.
Research has shown that there is no difference in the rate of abuse and neglect among minority populations when compared to Caucasian children that would account for the disparity.
I want you all to know that CPS is so corrupt that while they can’t coverup the extreme number of Children stolen from Native American Families, their far-reaching lies corrupt as much as possible of what is written for the public to see. CASE IN POINT, the above paragraph is wrong on one very important point:
In cases of Sexual Assault and Child Sexual Assault, over 80 to 85% of the time it is Family or someone close to family, in every race but two (2), and those are Alaskan Native and Native American.
– Alaskan Native and Native American Girls and Women know the perp in LESS THAN 30% OF THE CASES!!!!
Title 42 United States Code Section 1983 states that citizens can sue in federal courts any person who acting under a color of law to deprive the citizens of their civil rights under the pretext of a regulation of a state.
On August 27, 2015, Damian Merrick was given a trespass notice saying he was violating terms of his bond. This news article is from September 10, 2015, since that time Merrick has violated his bond 3 more times by being at the same location as his victims, and also being near Children. The 3rd time was just announced at 10:30 pm, November 11, 2015.
Dallas, TX – A man who used to own a volleyball club in Grapevine is accused of sexually assaulting three girls who played for his club, police say.
Damian Merrick, 48, has been arrested three times in the past year. His first arrest, on May 7, was on a charge of delivering marijuana to a child. Police tacked on a sexual assault charge in July, saying Merrick raped a 16-year-old girl in a bathroom at her Grapevine home while her parents were away, the Star-Telegram reported.
On Wednesday afternoon, authorities arrested Merrick on two more counts of sexual assault of a child. One of the new charges stipulates that he can’t bond out of jail.
Sgt. Robert Eberling, a spokesman for Grapevine police, said all three of the alleged victims were teenagers and members of the Grapevine Volleyball Club.
“He’s in a position where he had direct contact with the victims due to the nature of the business that he owned with his partners,” Eberling said. “That makes them [the athletes] certainly vulnerable in those circumstances.”
Merrick, who ran the club with other people, is no longer listed as an owner, Eberling said
Frederick, MD – Frederick police have linked a man to four sexual assault cases dating to the 1990s, after a domestic disturbance at the man’s house last month.
At 3:15 a.m. Oct. 25, police arrived at 47-year-old Joey Leon Laster’s home in the 1800 block of Ganby Way to find a teenage boy knocking on neighbors’ doors and asking for help, according to charging documents.
The boy told police Laster had sexual contact with him, causing him to flee, according to charging documents filed against Laster over the last week in Frederick County District Court.
Laster denied the accusations, but a man and two more boys contacted detectives over the next two days to report past abuse after Laster was charged with second and third-degree sex offense and sex abuse of a minor.
The earliest abuse reported to police dated to 1999, when Laster began inappropriately touching a boy who was then 8 years old, according to documents. The other two boys told police they were abused between 2008 and 2013.
Police said Laster would alternate between using threats and promising gifts to the boys to keep them from telling anyone about the abuse or refusing his advances, the documents state.
“I would kill you before you even thought about telling anyone,” Laster told one boy, according to one set of charging documents.
In addition to the charges filed against him Oct. 25, Laster was also facing five counts of second-degree assault, four counts of sex abuse of a minor and one count of fourth-degree sex offense, according to the charging documents.
Laster was released from the Frederick County Adult Detention Center as of Friday when his combined $725,000 bail was posted through a bondsman, court records state.
Laster was scheduled to appear in court for a preliminary hearing Nov. 25, court records state.