Amy Bibighaus, 29, went to the Hickley School on February 12, 2002, to evaluate juvenile delinquents and make recommendations about punishment. One of the juveniles she saw was a 15-year-old boy who was being housed in isolation after being found delinquent in an armed robbery case. According to the lawsuit, the teenager had proven to be an assaultive disturbance within the school and had demonstrated a propensity toward sexually aggressive behavior in the violence, including the sexual assault of a Hickley staff member.
After the teenager asked the attorney accompanying Bibighaus to leave the room so he could talk to the social worker, he propositioned Bibighaus. When she tried to leave the small office, a malfunctioning lock prevented her from being able to escape, and the absence of attentive Hickley staff members kept anyone from noticing the attack that turned into a rape.
Hickley staff members called state police after one staff member saw Bibighaus and the teenager in a consensual sexual position in the office. Bibighaus was charged with statutory rape, which resulted in her acquittal at a trial by a County Judge. After the acquittal, the teenager was not charged because, according to prosecutors, he didnt rape her.
Bibighaus lawsuit sought $20 million against the operators of Hickley: Youth Services International and its parent company, Correctional Services Corp. (CSC). [Editors Note: CSC was later bought by Geo Corp. Apparently as a precondition to the purchase CSC settled all or most outstanding litigation pending against it at the time of the purchase.] She alleged negligence, liability, civil conspiracy, defamation, malicious prosecution, false imprisonment, and other counts. Her March 28 settlement for $125,000 was characterized as a complete vindication by her attorney, Anton C. Iamele. I feel very relieved that theyve accepted responsibility for what occurred. By settling, it says that they failed to protect me, that they were negligent, and it feels good. It feels good to be vindicated, said Bibighaus.
After nearly 11 years of operating Hickley, the state decided not to renew its $16 million a year contract with Youth Services. PLN has regularly reported on the travails of CSC and if negligent, and often dangerous, operation of adult and youth prisons.
Sources: The Miami Herald; Baltimore Sun
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