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Sunday, May 19, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Drunken Slumber Party Beating Spurs Suit

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (CN) - An Anchorage girl who was videotaped while being beaten by five other teens wants over $100,000 in damages from the mother who served the kids alcohol at a party, the girl says in court.

Wayne Johnson sued Deanna Kirgis, the mother of one of the teen attackers who also owns the home where the incident occurred earlier this year, on behalf of his 15-year-old daughter Naomi.

Naomi was 14 at the time of the incident, which occurred at a party in the garage of Kirgis' home. After drinking alcohol, Kirgis' daughter and four other underage girls took turns - and sometimes in concert - striking and kicking Naomi in the head and other parts of her body while videotaping the incident using one of the girl's cellphone, the complaint says.

The video also shows the girls yanking and dragging her by her hair in the attack, which lasted 10 minutes according to the complaint.

Naomi and her father complain that Kirgis "recklessly supervised minors at her house" and that this was a "substantial factor in causing injury" to Naomi. They claim that in addition to the beating, Kirgis' daughter and her friends "unjustly imprisoned Naomi, prevented her from leaving when she tried, took her phone and - finding a naked photo of her on it - published the photo to the Internet, according to the complaint.

The lawsuit also states that Kirgis was home when the minor children drank alcohol, and that this was not the first time she allowed underage drinking in her home. As the adult and homeowner Kirgis was responsible for supervision and she took no steps to prevent the drinking, the attack, or rescue Naomi during the beating, Naomi and her father claim.

The video of the assault, first reported by news outlet Your Alaska Link, shows Naomi being punched and kicked, covering her face and head, but not returning any of the blows. In subsequent recorded interviews with local media, Naomi, her father and mother discuss the impact of the ordeal on Naomi and her family.

Johnson told Channel 11 KTVA Alaska that the attack was likely planned by a three-year friend of his daughter's who may have been disgruntled after the Johnsons caught her stealing from them and chose to take a different friend of Naomi's on vacation with them.

The Johnsons reported the beating incident to the police the day it occurred. When the video surfaced a couple of weeks later they handed that to the Anchorage Police Department.

The police acknowledged that the "incident has been investigated and final reports are being sent to the Division of Juvenile Justice," according to a statement by the department.

Because the participants are minors their names have not been released. So far, no charges have been filed and Kirgis' attorney declined to comment on the lawsuit.

In an answer to Naomi's complaint filed Nov. 18, Kirgis admitted that "a slumber party for a small number of 14- to 15-year-old girls occurred at her home on July 26." However, she denied all other remaining allegations.

The Johnsons are represented by Jeff Barber of Barber and Associates, the "Alaska Personal Injury Law Firm."

A representative of the firm told Courthouse News that Barber is currently out of town and that he did not initiate the recent media attention.

"That was all Mr. Johnson," the representative said.

In the meantime, Naomi is now homeschooled due to threats from former classmates as she and her family await the outcome of the police investigation and civil lawsuit.

The Division of Criminal Justice said Wednesday it had not yet received the report from police, and the Anchorage School District has "no jurisdiction in this case since it didn't involve activity at our schools," school officials said.

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