QUINCY -- Attorneys representing the family of an Iowa girl are seeking compensatory and "significant punitive" damages from Chaddock in a negligence lawsuit after the girl allegedly was sexually assaulted last summer when she and two other girls apparently sneaked out of the treatment and educational facility.
Shawn Collins, of the Collins Law Firm in Naperville, announced at a news conference in Quincy that a lawsuit was filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Chicago.
Collins produced records showing that Quincy Police were dispatched to the facility about 250 times during 2016 and 2017.
"Chaddock is not doing anything to stop these children" from just walking out, Collins said.
Chaddock President and CEO Debbie Reed denied the accusations in a statement released Wednesday and said the facility looks forward to offering a defense in court.
"Chaddock strives at all times to act in the best interest of the children and families enrolled in our programs, and supervision of children is a top priority of Chaddock," Reed said.
The 14-page complaint alleges that the girl, who was 15 at that time and is identified in suit as K.J., sneaked out of Wesley Cottage on the Chaddock campus about 11 p.m. Aug. 27 with two other girls of about the same age. They allegedly went to a party at a private home on Spruce.
"While at the home several hours, K.J. was struck in the head and knee with a pipe; pornography was played on the television for the young girls; alcohol and drugs were provided to the disabled children; the men and girls were having sex in front of K.J.; and K.J. was sexually assaulted," the court complaint said.
The other girls are alleged to have left K.J. at the party, and she was brought back to Chaddock by some of the men the next morning.
Collins said K.J. has the emotional maturity of a first-grader and was traumatized by the assault.
Results from a rape kit performed in St. Louis have not yet been processed by the Illinois State Police Crime Lab, and law enforcement officials say they're waiting on results before arrests can occur.
Quincy Police Chief Rob Copley said he does not know how many times a year Chaddock reports that students have run away.
"We do have to physically respond to take missing person reports," Copley said.
An official who was unwilling to be identified said a small portion of Chaddock's missing-child reports involve a very small portion of the students there.
"Some of these kids may try to run away three or four times a day," the official said.
The girl's adoptive mother, Kim Jensen, said K.J., was abused by her biological parents and has serious developmental issues and attachment disorder. The Cedar Falls, Iowa, woman said it was difficult to get K.J. enrolled in an out-of-state treatment facility. But because attachment disorder treatments are a Chaddock specialty, she felt it was necessary.
"I fought to let her go to Chaddock," Jensen said.
Jensen said the girl does not "run away" from home but has walked out the door and around the block because she "does not cross the street."
Jensen said she took K.J. back to Iowa for a home visit after the incident in August. But she said that when she wanted to bring K.J. back, she was told that the girl had been discharged from Chaddock. Jensen said K.J.'s original discharge was not expected until December.
"She's spent most of the last few months in the hospital," Jensen said.