Dozens Testify Of Abuse At Youth Home

Two lawsuits were filed on March 12th by over thirty individuals alleging sexual abuse of minors at a juvenile residential facility in Maryland that shut down in 2017 due to similar claims.

Several problems, such as inadequate supervision and safety concerns voiced by state authorities, caused Maryland Good Shepherd Services to shut down its young adult residential treatment program in Halethorpe.

The Good Shepherd Services mental health treatment facility advertised itself as a therapeutic and supportive place for the most vulnerable youngsters in Maryland. However, in two separate cases, lawyers documented decades of alleged child abuse by staff members of the facility.

The Catholic religious group known as the Sisters of the Good Shepherd established the program in 1864 with the goal of assisting girls and women. It all started in a building in Baltimore and then moved not far from the city.

Since Maryland legislators abolished the statute of limitations for juvenile sexual assault charges last year, the building pile of litigation has continued with the lawsuits filed on March 12th.

The plaintiffs, who were primarily female, claimed that they were injected with sedatives, which made it harder for them to fight against the abuse. Some victims said that the center’s hired priests and nuns paid them with presents and food, while others reported that they were intimidated by violence and had their rights taken away.

The lawsuit was filed against Good Shepherd, which contracted with the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services, the state Department of Health, and the Department of Human Services for the purpose of sending children for treatment.

The Sisters of the Good Shepherd order was not involved.

Despite not having yet received legal documents, three government entities issued a united statement expressing their deep concern about claims of inappropriate sexual conduct against minors under their supervision.

According to a news outlet, Good Shepherd ceased operations in 2017 following state agencies opting to remove children from the program. The previous year, the program had been criticized for lacking adequate supervision following reports of sexual assault and overdose symptoms caused by medication stolen from a medical cart.