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Friday, June 14, 2024 | Back issues
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Mom Says Nonprofit Hired Sex Offender

BUFFALO, N.Y. (CN) - A registered sex offender managed to become a caseworker for a nonprofit that contracted with Erie County and sexually abused a teen-age boy he was counseling, his mother claims in Erie County Court. Philip Young had been a registered sex offender in New York State since 1995, but the Buffalo Urban League hired him anyway to work with children, the mother says.

Mary Doe said the Urban League "failed to conduct background checks of the employees that it assigned to its clients," though "a simple Internet search would have revealed that Philip Young was a registered sex offender."

The Buffalo Urban League provided workers to Erie County's Departments of Social Services and Child Protective Services, among others, the complaint states.

An Erie County caseworker assigned Young to the Doe family in late 2004, according to the complaint; he was fired in 2006.

However, "Buffalo Urban League never communicated Phillip Young's termination, status as a sex offender and/or dangerous nature to Mary Doe, John Doe or any member of the Doe family," according to the complaint.

As a result, Doe says, Young maintained a relationship with John Doe through 2009, and repeatedly molested the boy against his will.

"As a result of these occurrences, John Doe contracted a sexually transmitted infection and suffered physical, psychological and emotional injuries," his mother says.

The family accused the Buffalo Urban League of negligence for failing to conduct background checks of employees, and failing to notify its clients "immediately upon learning of Philip Young's status as a sex offender."

Young, 45, was convicted in 1995 of sodomizing an 11-year-old boy, according to the U.S. Department of Justice Web site. He was sentenced to 5 years probation.

The sex offender directory stated that he established a relationship with that boy "for the purposes of victimization (grooming)."

The special conditions listed for Young on the registry included: "NO JOBS WITH CHILDREN, COUNSELING."

A call to the Buffalo Urban League's President and CEO, Brenda McDuffie, was not immediately returned.

The organization and the county are the only named defendants. The plaintiffs are represented by Terrence M. Connors and Jennifer R. Scharf with Connors & Vilardo.

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