Minor Claims Foster Parent Molested Him

     (CN) – A Florida foster parent molested a child because two agencies did not conduct an accurate background check of the alleged assailant, the purported victim claims in a lawsuit.
     R.S., a minor through next friend or guardian David Bazerman, sued Kids in Distress Inc., ChildNet Inc. and Michael McGuigan in Broward County, Fla. court last week. R.S. claims negligence, battery and infliction of emotional distress.
     McGuigan was licensed as a foster parent in 2008 based on recommendations from Kids in Distress and ChildNet, both of whom reviewed his application and were required to verify the information, according to the complaint.
     But McGuigan did not disclose that he was arrested for possession of cocaine and investigated for showing a minor a pornographic picture and asking him to perform sex acts, the lawsuit states. The complaint also alleges that McGuigan did not reveal that he was in a 10-year relationship after which McGuigan’s partner committed suicide.
     One foster child, Gabriel Myers, also committed suicide days after being removed from McGuigan’s care following deteriorating behavior allegedly caused in part by his foster father’s “inappropriate parenting,” the complaint states.
     R.S. was placed in McGuigan’s home in 2010 with no history of sexual abuse but was removed less than a year later when the Florida Department of Children and Families received a report alleging sexual abuse by McGuigan, according to the complaint.
     “On or about May 6, 2011, DCF received a report through the Florida Abuse Hotline alleging that a former Massachusetts foster child who was sexually victimized 23 years ago by McGuigan’s father, John J. ‘Sean’ McGuigan, disclosed that he was also sexually abused by McGuigan for several months when he was ten or eleven years old,” the lawsuit states. “The report further documented that John J. ‘Sean’ McGuigan had been arrested and convicted for sexual abuse.”
     R.S. allegedly claimed later that year that McGuigan also abused him.
     “On or about December 12, 2011, DCF received a report through the Florida Abuse Hotline alleging that R.S. disclosed that he had been sexually abused by McGuigan while under his care, and this report was closed with indicators of sexual abuse,” the complaint states. “R.S. was groomed and sexually assaulted by McGuigan, which resulted in R.S. being emotionally harmed and becoming sexually reactive.”
     Investigators determined that McGuigan lied on his foster parent application by not disclosing his father’s sexual abuse arrest, his past relationship and prior drug arrest.
     The lawsuit claims Kids in Distress and ChildNet breached their legal duties by allowing “an alleged child molester and person of poor moral character” to foster R.S. It specifically alleges that Kids in Distress did not conduct fingerprinting and a local criminal records check for McGuigan and ChildNet did not properly review Kids in Distress’ licensing process.
     R.S. seeks compensatory damages in excess of $15,000. He is represented by Howard Talenfeld of Talenfeld Law in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
     Requests for comment from Kids in Distress and ChildNet were not immediately returned.

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