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Child Rape Alleged at Rehab Center

FRESNO, Calif. (CN) - WestCare, a drug rehab center, let a visitor rape two young boys in its care, the children claim in court.

Minor Child 1 and Minor Child 2 sued WestCare and Jane Does 1 to 10 in Fresno Superior Court.

The boys, 6 and 8 years old, were living at the women's facility where their mother was a patient, when the male adolescent child of another patient molested them in the children's video room, according to the complaint.

"WestCare's lack of adequate supervision for minor children was a substantial, if not the sole factor in causing plaintiffs' harm," the complaint states.

The adolescent was not allowed to live with his mother but was supposed to be at the women-only facility only during scheduled visitations. But the night before the rapes, he had spent the night there, according to the complaint.

The next morning, April 15, 2012, the adolescent "was discovered by another patient of the facility, masturbating under a blanket in the movie room with a minor female under the blanket next to him. The patient informed Jane Doe 1, a WestCare facility staff member, about the incident. Jane Doe 1 took [the adolescent] out of the movie room, but allowed him to stay in the facility," according to the complaint.

Later that afternoon, Minor Child 1, Minor Child 2 and the adolescent were in the movie room alone when they should have been under the supervision of a WestCare employee, the complaint states.

"At approximately 3:30 p.m., on April 15th, Jane Doe 2, a WestCare facility staff member, walked into the movie room and saw Child 1 and [the adolescent] 'pulling up their pants,' but did not see any sexual activity occurring," the complaint states.

The adolescent was removed from the movie room but allowed to stay in the facility, according to the complaint.

"Later that same evening when Child 1 was having a bath, Child 1 told his mother that when Child 1 and Child 2 were in the movie room, [the adolescent] had asked them to play 'mommies and daddies.' During this unsupervised playtime, [the adolescent] raped Child 1 and Child 2. Plaintiffs' mother subsequently consulted Child 2, who told his mother about the rape," the complaint states.

The children, their mother, and Jane Doe 2 were taken to Valley Children's Hospital to document the rape with statements and medical exams. Jane Doe 2 corroborated the plaintiffs' story, the complaint states.

The boys' mother blames WestCare and its employees.

"WestCare failed to use reasonable care to protect plaintiffs because children were not adequately supervised by staff members. When the movie room is open and available for children, WestCare is supposed to provide an employee to permanently supervise the movie room. When, in the late morning of April 15th, 2012, Jane Doe 1 was informed that [the adolescent] had been discovered under the blanket in the movie room with the minor female, [the adolescent] was removed from the area but the movie room was left open and unsupervised. Consequently, just a few hours later, [the adolescent] was able to return to the move room unsupervised to rape plaintiffs," the complaint states.

The children continue to suffer "severe emotional distress and discomfort including, but not limited to, humiliation, shame, embarrassment, nervousness, anxiety, attention problems, and a desire to stay away from school," the complaint states.

The family seeks damages for failure to rectify a dangerous condition, failure to prevent criminal conduct of a third party, negligent infliction of emotional distress and negligent supervision of employees.

They are represented by Michael Elder and Jeffrey Purvis with Purvis & Elder, of Clovis.

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