New Law Allows Sexually Abused Foster Girl to Sue Westchester County and New York CPS – Thousands More to Follow
by Brian Shilhavy
Editor, Health Impact News
Health Impact News has been reporting for the past few years that the U.S. Foster Care system and Child Protection Services is the main pipeline for sexually trafficking children.
This child sex trafficking problem within the child welfare system is still not widely known in the U.S., but it is well documented as fact.
Now, a new law passed in the State of New York may reveal just how prevalent this problem is within New York state.
The Child Victims Act is a new law passed earlier this year that allows survivors of sexual abuse to file civil suits regardless of the statute of limitations.
New York attorney Samantha Breakstone says she is representing “thousands” of victims under the new law, and she filed the first one in Westchester County on September 19th.
According to Rockland/Westchester Journal News:
The lawsuit accuses the Westchester County Department of Social Services and the New York State Office of Children & Family Services of covering up or allowing the sexual abuse of a young girl in foster care during the late 1990s.
Melanie Gabari, 43, of Orange County, claims that members of her foster family sexually abused her between 1987 and 1990.
Gabari lived with George and Carol Munson and their son, Jeffery, in Peekskill.
In 1987, Carol Munson touched the then-11-year-old Gabari repeatedly on her intimate parts for the purpose of degrading her, according to the lawsuit.
Years later, Carol’s son, Jeffery, is accused of sexually abusing her as well.
Gabari ran away from the foster home after being sexually abused by Jeffrey in late 1990, according to claims in the lawsuit.
After Gabari reported the sexual abuse to Westchester County, Social Services tried to return her to the Munsons, according to the suit.
No abuse allegations were made against George Munson, however, the lawsuit claimed he was aware of the abuse.
“George Munson and Carol Munson’s actions were willful, wanton, malicious, reckless, negligent, grossly negligent and/or outrageous in their disregard for the rights and safety of Plaintiff,” Samantha Breakstone of New York-based Weitz & Luxenberg wrote in the lawsuit.
And according to Attorney Breakstone, this is the first one of “thousands.”