Abuse and Sexual Assault
Lawsuit Update: the lawsuit has been resolved for an undisclosed amount.
The law firm of Cerri, Boskovich & Allard, LLP has filed a second childhood sexual abuse lawsuit (Santa Clara County Superior Court, Case #112CV235030) against EMQ FamiliesFirst, claiming that the Los Gatos facility was negligent in the supervision and care of young children, and allowing its employee Waking Bailey to allegedly molest two young at-risk children. Bailey was also accused of molesting the two at-risk girls, as well as a woman with the mental capacity of a 5-year-old.
The new complaint filed this week on behalf of “Janice Doe” alleges that Bailey sexually groomed the then six-year-old by providing preferential treatment and then sexually abused her. The lawsuit claims that despite an EMQ FamiliesFirst policy that there must be two staff members on-site at all times, no one stopped Bailey's inappropriate solo nighttime visits to Janice Doe's bedroom. Janice Doe resided at EMQ FamiliesFirst, starting when she was approximately six years old, from 2007 to December 2009. The lawsuit alleges that the sexual abuse took place from 2007 to 2009.
The civil complaint, filed by attorney Robert Allard, also alleged that EMQ FamiliesFirst effectively aided and abetted Bailey's criminal activity by its failure to implement protective measures to detect and prohibit entry of a minor resident’s room at night by its staff.
Specifically, Allard argued that EMQ FamiliesFirst did not have adequate safety protocols in place to prevent staff from entering the living spaces of minors under its care during nighttime hours. This lack of protective measures is seen as a form of indirect support or enabling of Bailey's unlawful behavior, as it provided him the opportunity to commit these actions without detection or intervention. The lawsuit suggests that by failing to establish and enforce such safety protocols, EMQ FamiliesFirst indirectly contributed to the harm suffered by the minor resident(s) involved.
Punitive damages were requested by the attorneys based on the argument that EMQ FamiliesFirst covered up for Bailey by denying and concealing Bailey's sexual battery of Janice Doe.
According to the complaint, it is alleged that Bailey previously molested another minor, engaging in anal sex and intercourse, and brought a male from EMQ FamiliesFirst with him on one occasion for a “threesome.”
“EMQ FamiliesFirst had an obligation to protect Janice Doe from inappropriate and/or predatory behavior by staff and to maintain policies and procedures to protect its minor residents from such unlawful sexual activity and predatory behaviors,” states Allard.
In August 2012, a lawsuit was filed against EMQ FamiliesFirst and Bailey on behalf of Jane Doe. The lawsuit alleged the sexual molestation of the then 12-year-old girl and the subsequent retaliation against her for reporting the sexual abuse. Even though Jane Doe's allegations were first made in May of 2009, it took EMQ FamiliesFirst nearly two years to place Bailey on leave.
On its website, EMQ FamiliesFirst claims to be California's largest and most comprehensive social services agency for children and their families.Sexual Abuse Criminal Case Update
In 2015, Waking Bailey, who had been entrusted with the role of counselor for troubled youths within San Jose and Los Gatos, was found to have grossly violated this trust. His position, intended to support and guide vulnerable young individuals, became a platform for sexual abuse and harm.
The case, examined by the Santa Clara County Superior Court in San Jose, concluded with a jury convicting Bailey on multiple charges. The conviction encompassed 11 counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a minor, among other sex crimes, painting a stark picture of the betrayal of trust and the exploitation of his position of authority. The severity and nature of these offenses led to a significant ruling, with Bailey facing the possibility of life imprisonment.
This ruling was a pivotal moment for the victims and their families, giving them justice and closure. However, it also highlighted the need for organizations to perform rigorous background checks on employees before hiring them, especially when they work with children.Group Homes Must Implement Safety Measures to Protect Children
Group homes and care facilities must implement robust safety measures to protect minors and vulnerable individuals under their care from sexual abuse and other harm. These institutions are entrusted with the responsibility of providing a safe, nurturing environment that promotes the physical, emotional, and psychological health of their residents. The failure to establish and rigorously enforce comprehensive safety protocols not only exposes children and teens to potential harm but also undermines the foundational trust placed in these facilities by families and the community.
Robust safety measures should encompass a wide range of protocols, including but not limited to:
Moreover, these safety measures should be regularly reviewed and updated in response to evolving risks and the emergence of new safety technologies. It's also critical for these facilities to empower staff and residents to report any behavior that seems inappropriate or unsafe.
The case involving EMQ FamiliesFirst, as brought to light by attorney Robert Allard, shows what can happen when group homes and organizations neglect these responsibilities.Contact Our Child Sex Abuse Lawyers
If you or a loved one has suffered childhood sexual abuse or molestation, please call the law firm of Cerri, Boskovich & Allard. We can help guide you through this difficult time. Call our San Jose office at (408) 289-1417 or contact us online to schedule your free, confidential consultation.