Jury Rules County at Fault for Girl's Molestation - NBC 7 San Diego

Jury Rules County at Fault for Girl's Molestation

The little girl named "Doe" had been molested over a four-month period during visits by her biological father



    NBC 7's Omari Fleming talks with a San Diego attorney whose client was molested by her biological father while she was in county care. (Published Wednesday, April 2, 2014)

    A jury ruled San Diego County must pay nearly $2 million for its failure to protect a child in its care from her sexually abusive biological father.

    One of Child Welfare Services missions is to protect children but a recent jury verdict ruled the county agency didn’t protect attorney Randall Rechs' young client we're calling "Doe."

    “They were in the best position to protect this young lady and I think they failed. And this little girl paid the price,” explained Rechs.

    According to the civil suit Rechs filed in 2010, the adopted girl told family members she'd been molested over four months time while visiting her biological father. The child was 12 at the time of the abuse.

    A traumatizing crime that likely could have been prevented.

    Even though bound by law, Child Welfare Services didn't tell the adoptive parents that as early as 1998 the father was accused of sexually assaulting Doe's older brother.

    According to Rechs, the information released in adoption papers only noted the father's drug and physical abuse.

    “Many other facts were disclosed but that’s an important one they left out and it cost my client dearly,” the attorney told NBC 7 Monday.

    Now it’s going to cost the county.

    On Wednesday, a jury ruled in Doe's favor rendering a $1.8 million verdict against San Diego County.

    Rechs hopes the penalty helps to change the system so no other child ever has to suffer a similar fate.

    “I hope the system gets better and there are checks and balances to know the right hand knows what the left hand is doing,” he said.

    NBC 7 requested a comment from a San Diego County spokesperson but has not received a reply.

    The victim’s father is serving time for his crimes. The jury also issued a verdict against him of more than $600,000.