PIERCETON — Legal counsel for Pierceton Woods Academy has issued a statement on a pending civil suit against the home for troubled boys.
The suit alleges the organization was aware of staff engaging in inappropriate contact with minors and that a juvenile was sexually assaulted by an employee.
The suit was filed by Kevin Joseph, the father of a youngster who was allegedly assaulted on the campus. Defendants are Lasting Change Inc. and Lifeline Youth and Family Services, both doing business as Pierceton Woods Academy, as well as four employees.
The academy’s counsel, Tim Smith, issued the following statement by email to InkFreeNews upon a request for comment on Wednesday, Oct. 28:
“Lasting Change, Inc. and its subsidiaries are nonprofit, faith-based organizations with a 50-year history of dedication to helping children, youth and their families in this community and beyond through educational, home-based and residential programs (like those at Pierceton Woods Academy). Compliance with federal and state rules and the safety of our clients have earned us acclaim from regulators. And, with both safety and compliance as hallmarks, our programs have graduated hundreds of youth who have worked diligently with us to improve themselves, and in turn, contribute to their home communities.”
“We have reviewed the attorney’s allegations appearing in recent media stories. Out of respect for the judiciary, to ensure fairness during the judicial process, and to protect the privacy of our former and current clients, Lasting Change will not litigate the attorney’s allegations in the press, but will respond to them in compliance with the rules which govern any properly initiated legal proceeding. Based upon a review of the recent media stories, Lasting Change expects to vigorously defend itself in any lawsuit based upon these unproven allegations. It is also Lasting Change’s longstanding policy not to comment publicly on employment matters. Any further questions should be directed to the company’s attorneys, Jeffrey Roberts and the Hollingsworth Roberts Means law firm. In the meantime, our commitment and dedication to the wellbeing of the youth we serve will continue to be our priority.”