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Florida Department of Children & Families Hit With $5 Million Verdict in Child-On-Child Sex Abuse


Disclaimer: Most cases result in a lower recovery. Results may not be typical and reflect awards before deduction for attorneys’ fees and expenses. It should not be assumed that your case will have as beneficial a result.

In 2013 a Palm Beach County jury returned a $5 million verdict against the Florida Department of Children & Family Services on behalf a child repeatedly raped by a known child-on-child sexual predator. Florida child abuse attorney Howard Talenfeld represented the family in the case.

Florida DCF had removed the predator, J.W., from his natural parents in May 2002 following allegations of abuse and neglect. State officials then placed J.W. with the parents and family of Junior, an 8-year-old boy.

Shortly after the placement, Junior was sexually assaulted by J.W. Only later did the family learn that DCF knew J.W. to be a child-on-child sexual predator.

The evidence at trial revealed that DCF placed a sexual perpetrator in the home who was psychotic, homicidal and who had previously had sexually assaulted his toddler sister. J.W. later sexually assaulted another young girl.

Junior’s family contended that DCF should have shared this information.

Junior did not disclose the assault to his parents until 2005. J.W. was then removed from Junior’s home. At the time of the case, Junior was 20; J.W. was 21 and serving time in a Florida prison on a larceny charge.

During the court case, even the defense expert agreed that Junior suffered from severe depression and post-traumatic stress disorder as the result of the sexual assault.

The Palm Beach County jury returned a $5 million verdict against the Florida Department of Children & Family Services on behalf of Junior.

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