VANCOUVER, Wash. (CN) – An autistic man claims a summer camp employee nicknamed “Creepy Carl” cast a dark shadow over Camp Sunshine by molesting the former camper when he was a teenager.
Christopher Martin, now 20, says he first attended Sunshine Camp in the summer of 2004 and stopped going after last summer, when his mother found out about the abuse.
Owned by Sunshine Physically Challenged Foundation, Camp Sunshine caters to children and young adults with special needs, according to Martin’s lawsuit in Clark County Superior Court.
Martin says he returned from the camp in 2009 “filthy and distressed.” His mother allegedly unzipped his luggage “and discovered that it was nearly the same as when Christopher had left for camp.”
She helped him take a shower and noticed “an abrasion on his buttocks,” the lawsuit states.
That’s when Martin says he revealed that he had been physically and sexually abused by camp employee Carl Libhart and others.
Camp staff allegedly referred to Libhart as “Creepy Carl.”
“He has an extensive criminal record and was outspoken at the defendants’ camps about his criminal history and other misconduct,” Martin claims.
Despite Libhart’s background, the camp owner allegedly gave Creepy Carl “unfettered and unsupervised access” to Martin, allowing Libhart to spend the night alone with the autistic teen.
Martin wants the foundation to pay damages for negligence, invasion of privacy, intentional infliction of emotional distress and the sexual exploitation of children.
Martin claims he suffered “emotional distress, humiliation, mental anguish, physical and mental pain and suffering, a decrease in his ability to enjoy life, lost wages, lost earning capacity, (and) past and future medical expenses,” among other damages.
His attorney is Michael Pfau of Pfau Cochran Vertetis & Kosnoff.