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Alleged Maryland Juvenile Hall Sexual Abuse Victims Eligible for Justice, Potential Compensation

Alleged Maryland Juvenile Hall Sexual Abuse Victims Eligible for Justice, Potential Compensation


We offer Maryland juvenile hall sex abuse victims a free, private case review with the opportunity for justice and potential compensation.

The Maryland Department of Juvenile Services launched an independent investigation after a Western Maryland juvenile detention center had the highest rate of sexual abuse in a nationwide study.

The U.S. Justice Department report indicates that four of 11 youths at Backbone Mountain Youth Center in Garrett County said they had been sexually abused by staff or another youth in the last year.

That rate—36.4%—was the highest of 195 juvenile detention centers surveyed across the country—the rates varied widely between facilities.

Victimization included forced sexual activity with another youth and all sexual activity with staff.

An individual example shows juvenile detention center employee Jessica Margaret Irving, of Hagerstown, in Frederick County, charged with having a sexual relationship with a teen at the center.

Jessica Margaret Irving, 33, of Hagerstown, is charged with sex abuse of a minor and sex offense with a juvenile detainee.

The teen said Irving picked him up from his home after he was released from the Victor Cullen Center in Sabillasville, a secure treatment facility run by the Department of Juvenile Services, and had sex with him multiple times, as well as while he was still at the center.

The following Maryland juvenile hall facilities are known for historical incidents of abuse, including:

  • Montrose Training School
  • Victor Cullen Center
  • Western Maryland Children's Center
  • Backbone Mountain Youth Center
  • Baltimore City Juvenile Justice Center
  • Charles H. Hickey, Jr. School
  • ​Charles H. Hickey, Jr. Structured Shelter Care Program
  • Cheltenham Youth Detention Center
  • Green Ridge Youth Center
  • Lower Eastern Shore Children's Center

The following Maryland juvenile hall facilities are also locations of historical abuse, despite the fact that they’re listed as either “closed” or “temporarily closed”:

  • Garrett Children's Center (temporarily closed)
  • Alfred D. Noyes Children's Center​ ​(temporarily closed)
  • Thomas J.S. Waxter Children's Center (c​losed)
  • Mountain View​ (closed)

Jay Cleary, Director of Communications at the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services said officials were “shocked” to learn the findings of the report

We believe victims of sex abuse while incarcerated in Maryland juvenile halls deserve justice and potential compensation for their injuries.

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