Teen sexually assaulted in foster care files lawsuit

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GREENWOOD, S.C. (WSPA) — A federal lawsuit alleges that a special needs teenager in foster care was sexually assaulted by a driver who worked for the South Carolina Youth Advocacy Program. The teen’s attorney, Heather Hite Stone, said the boy was being transported from a visit to Greenwood to a foster home in Columbia when the driver took the teen home and sexually assaulted him in March 2016. The victim was 17 years old at the time.The boy reported the sex assault to his foster mother and was so distraught he considered suicide, according to the lawsuit. The lawsuit asserts the driver claimed the sex act was consensual, but attorneys say the special needs teen cannot and did not consent to sexual activity.The S.C. Youth Advocacy Program, two of its employees and a caseworker with the S.C. Department of Social Services are named as defendants in the lawsuit.The lawsuit also alleges that DSS did not provide the boy with sufficient counseling. “Special needs foster children are perhaps the most vulnerable population in our society, and it is hocking an horrific when individuals and agencies who are charged with protecting our most vulnerable citizens violate this sacred trust,” Stone said in a statement.

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