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Judge Awards $2.8 Million to Victims of CSC Texas Boot Camp Sexual Abuse

Judge Awards $2.8 million to Victims of CSC Texas Boot Camp Sexual Abuse

On March 5, 2001, State District Court Judge Paul Enlow found Correctional Services Corporation (CSC) criminally liable for the actions of two former employees who sexually harassed three women while they were confined in a CSC-operated boot camp near the north Texas town of Mansfield. Following a civil bench trial, Judge Enlow said CSC was guilty of malice and conscious indifference regarding the harassment and awarded $2.8 million in damages to the three abused women.

Until August 2001, CSC operated a boot camp for troubled youths in Tarrant County, a few miles south of Fort Worth, Texas. Two former CSC employees, Joseph Fonville and Michael Zahn, were accused of sexually harassing three former boot campers: Annawaynette Creek, 33, Karen Fowler, 21, and Kari Chattha, 19.

"The defendants' conduct violated the trust of the residents and of every parent who would have wished to have a boot camp facility as a tool for troubled youths," wrote Judge Enlow.

"You take abused girls and then you put them in a facility where they're supposed to get help and all they do is get more abused," said Howard Rosenstein, the attorney who represented the three women. "We had to send a message to this company that was supposed to help them and didn't."

Fowler was awarded $500,000 for mental anguish and sexual harassment; Creek and Chattha were each awarded $400,000 for mental anguish. Judge Enlow also ordered CSC to pay each of the women $500,000 in punitive damages.

Tarrant County criminal judges who oversee the Mansfield boot camp rejected CSC's bid to renew their contract for management of the facility. CSC had managed the camp since it opened in 1992.

Sources: The Dallas Morning News ,The Arlington [Texas] Morning News

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