3.15.2024 Press Release: New Lawsuit Accuses CYFD and Bair Foundation of Failing to Protect Five-Year-Old from Physical and Sexual Abuse

A lawsuit filed in New Mexico’s First Judicial District Court in Santa Fe accuses CYFD and the Bair Foundation of failing to protect a five-year-old boy from physical and sexual abuse in a treatment foster care home. The victim, referred to only as “A.T.,” is alleged to have suffered this abuse at the hands of two treatment foster care parents licensed and supervised by the defendants.

In June of 2022, one of A.T.’s foster parents brought A.T. to an Albuquerque urgent care and claimed the young boy had “fallen down the stairs.” A doctor from UNM Hospital’s Child Abuse Response Team subsequently noted that A.T.’s injuries were “not consistent with a fall down the stairs,” and were instead “consistent with blunt force trauma to his abdomen.” The doctor further noted that A.T. had “sustained potentially fatal inflicted/abusive abdominal trauma,” and that “should [A.T.] return to the home in which he was injured, he is at significant risk for additional serious injury or death.”

As a result of the injuries he suffered, A.T. was hospitalized for over two months and underwent multiple surgeries. A subsequent abuse and neglect investigation by CYFD substantiated the allegations of abuse by A.T.’s foster parents, and also revealed that A.T. had suffered sexual abuse from one of them.

“The severity of this child’s suffering is particularly tragic,” said Levi Monagle, an attorney for A.T. “This child could have died from his injuries. He had to undergo multiple surgeries. He could consume nothing but clear liquids for nearly two months.” “This child could have simply been placed with his grandparents,” said Monagle. “They had asked to care for him, but instead he was placed with strangers and he was brutally injured by them.”

View the official complaint here.

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