Family sues after their 8-year-old son was allegedly raped at an Independence summer camp

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webnexttech | Family sues after their 8-year-old son was allegedly raped at an Independence summer camp
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The family of a 9-year-old boy is suing the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City, alleging that the boy was raped by another child while attending a summer camp in Independence in 2023. The boy, who was not named in the lawsuit due to his age, attended a BGC summer camp focused on youth sports last summer. He was 8 years old at the time. The survivor and his family allege that while on a camp field trip to the swimming pool at James Bridger Middle School in Independence, a camper identified as A.R. cornered the boy in a bathroom and sodomized him, according to court documents. A.R. was previously expelled from his school and moved to an alternative school after inappropriately touching other students, according to court documents. The survivor and his family allege that camp staff allowed A.R. to be unsupervised around other campers despite his history, according to court documents. In addition to the BGC, the survivor and his family are suing A.R., the Independence youth who allegedly committed the rape. Along with sexual abuse and battery, the survivor and his family are bringing a count of childhood sexual abuse against A.R. and three counts of negligence against both A.R. and the Boys and Girls Clubs. “Defendant BGC knew or should have known about A.R.’s deviate and dangerous exploitative propensities and/or that he was unfit to be left unsupervised with John Doe,” the lawsuit reads. The survivor is represented by The DeFeo Law Firm and Chionuma Law Firm, both based in Kansas City. Neither the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Kansas City nor attorneys for the survivor were available for comment on Friday evening. The survivor’s family is looking for a trial by jury, where they will seek up to $25,000 in emotional damages. The boy has started therapy as a result of the alleged rape, a process which his family describes as “heartbreaking.” The survivor has been diagnosed with various emotional damages since the rape, according to court documents. Ongoing conditions include shock, loss of self esteem and psychosomatic symptoms of distress. Staff at Boys & Girls Club summer camps undergo a series of mandatory trainings before each summer-camp session, including child sexual assault prevention training, child abuse awareness training and mandated reporter training. BGC offers 10 different summer camp programs for children ages 5 and up. The group’s camp offerings have not changed since last year. A case management conference related to the pending lawsuit will be held on September 26 at 1:30 p.m. The plaintiffs and the Boys & Girls Clubs will attend mandatory mediation sessions before any trial is held. If you need help, the Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault’s crisis line can be reached at 816-531-0233 or 913-642-0233. More resources can be found here.

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