Friday, November 20, 2009

County settles rape lawsuit

The costs of defending the case, in which a resident at Riddel Boys Ranch said he was raped, were considered in the county's decision.


Posted on Thu, Nov. 19, 2009
The Wichita Eagle
Sedgwick County commissioners agreed Wednesday to spend $85,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by a former Judge James Riddel Boys Ranch resident who said he was raped while being held at the home for troubled teens.
Assistant County Counselor Michael North said the county admitted no wrongdoing in settling the lawsuit. He said the costs of defending the case were taken into consideration when deciding to settle the case.
The plaintiff, who is now 19, said in his lawsuit that he was assaulted at the ranch six or seven times while being held there in September and October 2004 before leaving the facility without permission.
The boy ended up at the home of his mother, who convinced him to return to the ranch, the lawsuit said. The boy and his mother told ranch officials about the assaults, the lawsuit said, but no corrective action was taken.
On Nov. 2, 2004, the lawsuit said, the plaintiff was raped by the inmate responsible for the earlier assaults.
The younger boy received hospital treatment and was assigned to another juvenile facility, the lawsuit said.
The resident accused of the assaults was convicted of attempted aggravated criminal sodomy, and is now a registered sex offender living in Wichita.
The Boys Ranch, which is operated by Sedgwick County, is at Lake Afton in western Sedgwick County.
Reach Hurst Laviana at 316-268-6499 or