Callie Thornton

Published: Thursday, September 27, 2007 at 4:36 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, September 27, 2007 at 4:36 p.m.

JACKSONVILLE -- A 12-year-old Jacksonville girl has been awarded $788,421 in a civil lawsuit against a former Department of Children & Families employee who allegedly sexually abused her seven years ago, an attorney for the child said Thursday.

A Duval County Circuit Court jury ruled May 23 that Louis Templeman, then a DCF child protection investigator, violated the then 5-year-old girl's civil rights by sexually molesting her. The judgment was announced Thursday because the time for an appeal had passed, said Brian Cabrey, a Jacksonville lawyer who represented the child.

"It was the DCF's responsibility to ensure that the child was protected and kept safe from harm, certainly from its own employees, and they failed miserably. The last person she should have had to worry about hurting her was the person who was supposed to be protecting her," Cabrey said.

The alleged abuse occurred in July 2000 while the child was being taken to emergency shelter care after her mother was arrested for child abuse for excessive corporal punishment, Cabrey said. But it was not reported until a year later when the youngster disclosed the information to a therapist.

The girl's 26-year-old mother, whose name is being withheld to protect the child's identity, has custody of her daughter now. She said her daughter is still receiving counseling, is very clingy and has nightmares.

"She is concerned about him getting out and finding her," the mother said. "She has good days and bad days.

"On a daily basis, I have to deal with her insecurities," she said.

The girl is in the seventh grade at a private school.

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1 Response
  1. Times Leader, The (Wilkes Barre, PA) (January 1, 2010)
    Article ID: 12CF7B4AD0509ED8
    WILKES-BARRE - The parents of a child who was allegedly sexually assaulted by a foster child placed in their home by Luzerne County Children and Youth Services have agreed to settle a federal lawsuit against the agency and other defendants for $775,000.
    The settlement, finalized last week, calls for the parents and the child to receive a lump-sum payment of $235,000, plus an additional $465,000 that will be paid through an annuity over 20 years, according to attorney John Dean, who Your search terms appear times.