9-year-old boy files lawsuit against DCF
DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. (WSVN) -- The Department of Children and Families is facing a legal battle with a boy who endured years of physical and sexual abuse at the hands of his father, who nearly killed him, the child's guardian said.
In the lawsuit filed Tuesday, attorneys for the 9-year-old contend the agency did not do enough to protect his client before a Feb. 2012 hostage crisis that claimed several lives, including the child's older autistic brother. The 24-page document states that his father, William DeJesus, molested him violently, abused him and stuck him in a closet.
According to attorneys, they are keeping the name of the child anonymous and calling him SD to protect his identity. "In 20 years, this is one of the most horrific cases that I have ever seen," said David Bazerman, the child's Guardian ad Litem.
The lawsuit states SD informed several DCF officials about his father's abuse, yet they did nothing to save him.
The final incident occurred back in 2012, when DeJesus, drove his family to an RV park in Deerfield Beach. During a seven-hour standoff inside an RV, DeJesus killed a Canadian tourist and held a woman hostage along with his wife and two children.
DeJesus called 911. "Hello, yes. Um, I'm here," DeJesus said in the recording. "I'm the guy that's here in the house with the lady. I had to shoot the man. Tell them if anybody shoots, I'm gonna shoot her three times, and I got another gun, and I'm just gonna keep on shooting. Are you listening? Hello?"
After the call, DeJesus killed his autistic son and stabbed his wife, who still has the scars from that night. He then stabbed the young plaintiff, who also survived. During a standoff with police, DeJesus committed suicide.
"He got nothing," Bazerman said. "He did not get any of the protection. He didn't get the support. He didn't get the recognition of what was going on. Nobody listened to him!"
DCF knew there were problems with DeJesus, but a DCF report said their case workers did nothing wrong, even though allegations of domestic violence and sexual abuse were documented.
"This child was returned to a known pedophile," Howard Talenfeld, another attorney, said.
"A therapist recorded the following exchange in her notes," Attorney Joel Fass said.
Fass began to read the transcript between SD and the therapist.
SD: "Monster Jackson hurts my p."
Therapist: "Who's Monster Jackson?"
"And that's what they called their father," Fass said. "'Monster Jackson hurts me, hurts my pipi. His mother hurts my head.' The state failed these children."
The lawsuit lists pages upon pages of red flags and blames DCF for its negligence, blaming the agency for not protecting an innocent child. "He's gonna need lifelong help, support, treatment and care," Bazerman said.
The lawsuit also puts blame on four different foster homes that work with the agency. According to the lawsuit, SD told the foster parents what was happening, and yet nothing was done about it as well.
According to the attorneys, DCF was just trying to cut costs to bring down the case load, which is why nothing was done and why the child was returned to his parents. The attorneys are hoping that this, along with other cases, will change what is done at DCF.
A DCF spokesperson said the department is still reviewing the lawsuit. The child is currently living with a foster family.
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