(CN) - The Institute for Child and Family Health negligently placed a troubled teenage boy in a foster home with a sexually reactive 6-year-old girl, leading to her repeatedly being victimized, the girl's mother claims in court.
In a complaint filed in Miami-Dade County, Precious Sharpe says that in 2002 her daughter S.R. and the rest of her children were taken into custody by the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF), and later placed in foster care in Miami.
According to the complaint, the minor developed unusual sexualized behaviors after she was taken into custody, and later told a child protective investigator that she was sexually abused before being removed from her home.
Due to her sexualized behaviors, in 2004 S.R. was sent to the Gladstone Center for Girls, a facility for female children who were removed from their homes because of serious sexual abuse.
Sharpe claims that in late 2004, caregivers recommended that S.R. be placed in Specialized Therapeutic Foster Care (STFC), where a specially trained foster parent would offer targeted case management for her, and a plan to deal with and eliminate her behavior problems.
On June 2, 2005. when S.R. was six years old she was placed in STFC- level II which requires "a heightened and intense level of care from the foster parent and professional staff intended to provide a high degree of structure, support, supervision and clinical intervention," the complaint says.
Under the supervision of the Institute for Child and Family Health Inc. (ICFH) on August 24, 2005, Sherry Motley became the foster parent for S.R., and the minor was placed in her home. Three months later, on November 9 2005, Dixon Marcellus, a 14 -year old male foster child, was also placed at Motley's foster home.
Marcellus was also allegedly a sexually reactive child who during his summer camp in 2005 frequently engaged in sexualized behaviors. Sharpe claims that the minor's sexual conduct was known to ICFH and S.R.'s caregivers, and that even though S.R. was vulnerable to sexual abuse, they still placed Marcellus in the same foster home.
Plaintiff says that her daughter's sexualized behaviors were directed at males. "These behaviors included, among other things, exposing herself to boys by pulling her shirt up and her pants down; overly affectionate conduct with males; sexualized dancing; and absence of boundaries when around males," Sharpe says.
The complaint claims that on April 2004, Marcellus was accused of sexually abusing a handicapped foster sibling, and that he had a history of inappropriate and sexually aggressive conduct. It goes on to say that once Marcellus was placed in Motley's foster home he sexually assaulted S.R. "mostly every day."
The alleged sexual assaults involved oral, vaginal and anal sex, the complaint says.
Marcellus' alleged sexual misconduct was discovered on March 12th, 2007, when the minor was finally removed from Motley's foster home, and the police were contacted.
Sharpe says that she did not know about Marcellus' alleged sexual assaults of her daughter until March-April 2007.
According to the complaint on April 3, 2006, defendant ICFH gave up its role in S.R.'s treatment, and transferred its management services to Citrus Health Network Inc. The foster care license of Sherri Motley was also transferred to Citrus Health, along with the duties regarding Marcellus's care.
Plaintiff seeks compensatory damages for negligence and loss of consortium.
Sharpe is represented by Jeff Herman of Boca Raton, Fla.
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