Woman raped by boy on therapy outing sues state for $10 million

July 11, 1992|By Jackie Powder | Jackie Powder,Staff Writer

The woman who was raped by a 15-year-old youth while he was on a "fresh air" outing with a state juvenile offender program April 26, 1991, has filed a $10 million lawsuit against the state Department of Juvenile Services.

The lawsuit, filed Thursday in Howard County Circuit Court, alleges the state was negligent in allowing a "known rapist" to wander unsupervised in a public park.

The youth, Antonio Lee Perry, now 16, grabbed the woman as she was jogging around the lake in Centennial Park in Ellicott City. He dragged her behind some bushes, beat her and then raped her, according to the lawsuit.

At the time, Perry was on a field trip with the Thomas O'Farrell Center in Marriottsville, where he was undergoing court-ordered therapy for prior sexual offenses, including the rape of a 15-year-old girl. He had been charged with two other sexual assaults when he was 12, according to court records.

Perry, who pleaded guilty to second-degree rape in May, was sentenced to a 15-year prison term Tuesday by Howard Circuit Judge James B. Dudley.

The 27-year-old woman is also seeking $20 million in damages against the the North American Family Institute, a Massachusetts-based company that contracts with the state to operate the Thomas O'Farrell Center.

State Juvenile Services officials placed Perry at the Thomas O'Farrell Center in October 1990 for therapy relating to prior sexual offenses. However, the center is an unsecured facility with no programs designed to treat violent sex offenders, the lawsuit alleges.

"They chose not to place him in a facility geared toward the type of individual they were dealing with," said Timothy J. McCrone, the woman's lawyer.

Also named as defendants in the lawsuit are John Yates, director of the Thomas O'Farrell Center, and four other center employees.

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