Sex Abuse in Maryland Juvenile Detention Centers: The Yost Legal Group Is Taking Cases for Survivors

If You Were Raped or Sexually Abused as a Minor in a Maryland Youth Detention Center, You May Have a Case

With the quickly approaching deadline to file a lawsuit against the Catholic Church and Archdiocese of Baltimore in Maryland for sexual abuse and assault committed by Catholic Church clergy members and Catholic school employees, we here at The Yost Legal Group wanted to take a moment to reassure survivors of childhood rape and sexual abuse that they are not on a deadline or time limit to file a lawsuit and pursue a claim.

If you are the survivor of childhood rape or sexual abuse in a Maryland juvenile or youth detention center, at this time, you have no deadline to file a claim against the facility (and state) that employed, harbored, and potentially protected your abuser. All over the state, survivors are coming forward to hold the facilities and the state responsible for their malfeasance.

The Yost Legal Group has experienced and compassionate childhood sexual abuse survivor attorneys who are ready to fight for your right to compensation and justice. If you are ready to tell your truth, we are here to listen. Call or text us today for a free consultation: 410-659-6800

Rape and sexual abuse are traumatic experiences that may be difficult to talk about. Some people wait years and even decades before they are ready to tell reveal the truth. We want you to know that you are not alone. Whenever you are ready to come forward is the correct time.

The act of sitting with the knowledge and memories of surviving a childhood sexual assault for years and even decades is so well studied at this point that there is a term for the phenomenon: “delayed disclosure.”

“Delayed disclosure” is the common phenomenon whereby a survivor of childhood rape or sexual assault waits an extended period of time before revealing to anyone the truth about their past experience.

Furthermore, as sexual assault is such a traumatic event, many people repress memories of the events and do not even consciously remember the abuse or abuses they survived.

With these two points in mind, it is not surprising that it often times takes decades for survivors to disclose their childhood abuse:

While it may seem intuitive that a survivor would disclose abuse when it happened, data reveals a different reality. In a study of over 1,000 survivors, the average age at the time of reporting child sex abuse was about 52 years.”

What’s more, minors in juvenile detention centers are already an especially vulnerable subset of minors. They could be troubled teens. They could have behavioral disorders. Many children in youth detention centers come from troubled homes, if they even have a typical “home” from which to come.

Given their vulnerable status, it is not surprising they might not feel as though they have anyone in their corner to believe them and have their backs if they were to report being the victim of rape or sexual abuse.

The abusers who work in these facilities are well aware of the difficulties their children inmates face: behavioral health issues, isolation, mental health issues, psychological issues, and familial trauma. They are well aware and are put in a position of authority to take full advantage of their power.

We must prioritize the safety and wellbeing of all children, but especially of our most vulnerable children, teenagers, and young adults.

If you or a loved one is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse in a Maryland juvenile detention center, you may have a case. If you are ready to come forward, we are ready to fight for you. Call or text us today for a free consultation. There is no fee unless we win your case.

An important step toward protecting our most vulnerable and, at the very least, allowing survivors to seek the justice they deserve, happened in April 2023 when Maryland Governor Wes Moore signed the Child Victims Act into law.

In short, the Child Victims Act of Maryland eliminated the statute of limitations for reporting rape and sexual abuse that happed when one was a minor.

Previously, the statute of limitations only allowed a survivor of childhood sexual abuse to seek litigation against an abuser only up to 20 years after turning 18. But that simply was not enough time. As previously mentioned, 52 years old is the average age that a survivor discloses their childhood sexual abuse.

With the enactment of the new law, many Marylanders are coming forward to report surviving childhood rapes and sexual assaults in youth detention centers. By February 2024, The Associated Press reported there were already 200 victims alleging experiences of child sexual abuse in Maryland’s juvenile detention facilities.

You are not alone. Surviving such a terribly tragic event can feel alienating and isolating. But it is clear there are hundreds of people dealing with the same pain. It is truly tragic that anyone had to go through the trauma that these bad people put them through. However, people find power and strength in community, in shared experiences, in togetherness.

Similar to the Catholic Church’s and Archdiocese of Baltimore’s immense failings to protect its people, its children, it is clear that the state of Maryland has also failed for decades upon decades to protect one of its most vulnerable groups of people, those in juvenile and youth detention centers.

No matter the reason a child ended up in a youth detention center, it is inexcusable for the facilities and the state to have allowed such poor behavior to proceed at all, yet alone for so long.

The victims were just children. They have no way to consent. Furthermore, they were in the state’s care. There is no consent between a patient or inmate and a facility employee, especially not one with power such as a guard.

Survivors are never alone. Survivors are never at fault.

And now, people are seeking the justice they deserve.

The Yost Legal Group is working to help survivors of childhood sexual abuse in Maryland’s juvenile and youth detention centers. We will be running a series of posts highlighting several facilities over the coming weeks.

Maryland has an extensive list of juvenile detention centers (full list at link). While we are not going to specifically name each facility, we will name several in this blog post where there were known reports of childhood rape and sexual abuse.

Maryland Juvenile Detention Centers:

  • Alfred D. Noyes Children’s Center (closed)
  • Backbone Mountain Youth Center
  • Baltimore City Juvenile Justice Center
  • Charles H. Hickey, Jr. School (formerly: Maryland Training School for Boys)
  • Cheltenham Youth Detention Center (formerly: Boys’ Village of Maryland)
  • Eastern Shore Children’s Center
  • Garrett Children’s Center (closed)
  • Green Ridge Youth Center
  • Victor Cullen Center
  • Thomas J. S. Waxter Children’s Center (closed)
  • West Maryland Children Center

If you or a loved one experienced childhood rape or sexual abuse in a Maryland juvenile detention center, we are here to help you seek the justice you deserve. You are not alone. You are not at fault. If you are ready to talk, we are here to listen.

Again, this list is not exhaustive. There are many other facilities around the state of Maryland, functioning or otherwise. Even if you were abused in a now-defunct state-run youth detention center, you may pursue a claim.

We here at The Yost Legal Group are also aware that monetary compensation is not going to magically make everything better. Money will not make the pain and hurt go away. Money will not put abusers behind bars. Money will not make any lasting, traumatic memories fade.

However, it will hold these facilities and the state of Maryland accountable. And these consequences as hundreds or thousands of cases statewide move forward will hopefully keep the next child safe.

Also, keeping that reality in mind, we also help our clients seek therapy and other mental health treatments should they want it.

Call The Yost Legal Group today to speak with an experienced and compassionate attorney about your childhood sexual abuse claim from a Maryland juvenile detention center. All consultations are completely free and anonymous.

If you are ready to talk, we are here to help you seek the justice you deserve to hold Maryland accountable for turning a blind eye to decades of childhood sexual abuse within its facilities. Call or text today at 410.659.6800.