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Second lawsuit alleges abuse at New Hampshire youth center


Concord, NH – Warning came through wall vents at King’s Cottage: Fighting had begun.

Michael Gilpatrick, who spent three years at a youth detention center in New Hampshire in the late 1990s, said he and other boys would sometimes stand on toilets in bathrooms, shouting to spread talk about employees approaching. Huh.

“Once they got into the first room, and stopped and beat the first person, they went straight to the line and did that to every single one of us,” he said. “You can hear it happen. You can’t necessarily see it, because you’re locked in yourself. And who knows what else they were doing there, because so many of us carried that stuff to ourselves.” was kept. “

Gilpatrick, 38, doesn’t keep much to himself these days. He filed a lawsuit on Monday alleging he was physically and sexually abused at Manchester’s former youth development centre, which has been the target of criminal investigations since 2019 and is expected to close in 2023.

This could be the second of hundreds of individual lawsuits after a judge dismissed the class action suit in May, upholding only the main plaintiff’s claims. From 1963 to 2018, more than 300 men and women have come forward with charges involving 150 employees, now called Sununu Yuva Seva Kendra.

Gilpatrick is suing the state, the youth center, and five of the 11 people who were arrested in April and charged with sexually assaulting or acting as accomplices in the assault of more than a dozen teens .

Among them, Bradley Asbury and James Woodlock are accused of banning Gilpatrick, while they were attacked by Jeffrey Buskey and Stephen Murphy in 1997 or 1998. A state soldier who testified at Asbury’s probable cause hearing said aides described the four as a group or “muscle”. of the cottage, and said that they often used physical force to reduce conflict.

Gilpatrick would not discuss that episode in an interview with the Associated Press, but he said that the teens referred to the four as “hit squads” because they responded to every incident, even among youth. Minor arguments, with violence.

“I have personally seen them respond to hundreds of incidents where they could have eased the situation better by bringing the child down to the ground with a knee on the back of the neck, elbow drop, and kick. And back them up. Dragging into the hut,” he said.

Gilpatrick alleges that in addition to physical and sexual abuse, he was held in solitary confinement for three months at a time.

“And then it will just become a daily occurrence where they will come to protest us… start throwing your stuff around, take pictures of us off the wall, rip them off, whatever,” he said. “We have a way of getting under our skin so that we can reach them. And that gives them another reason to keep us in our rooms for even longer.”

The staff would sometimes remove everything from the room, even the mattress, and leave it there in his underwear, he said. They did not report the abuse, he said, because in some cases, the supervisors were the abusers.

“There was no one you could go to YDC to talk to. You were literally trapped in your own thoughts, in your own fears, every day.” He said, “That place made us who we were. I can’t say what I am now because I am a better person now. But coming out of that place, I was a monster.”

The lawsuit also alleges that the abuse was widespread and widely known by observers, and that abusers threatened physical retaliation if victims reported them. Gilpatrick’s attorney, Russ Riley, said Monday that he represents 375 clients with similar claims.

“Today is only the start of hundreds of lawsuits that will be filed against the state in the coming weeks on behalf of brave survivors of decades of systemic government child abuse,” he said.

Gilpatrick left the youth center just before the age of 17 and was jailed within two years. He spent more than a dozen years behind bars and frequently used drugs, but now says he hasn’t used it for four years and co-owns a waterproofing business.

He has two children with his wife of 16 years and admires him for standing by her. One of the many tattoos covering his arms, legs and torso features angels battling demons.

“It’s the biggest thing I struggle with,” he said. “Trying to keep myself nice, but fighting everything I’ve dealt with has brought me down all these years.”

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