HOUSTON, TX, DECEMBER 8th, 2022—Roberts Markland LLP, a personal injury law firm based in Houston, TX, has filed a $100 million lawsuit against Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Boys & Girls Clubs Of Greater Houston, for aiding and abetting the repeated sexual assaults of a minor girl that began on her 12th birthday and continued through her 14th birthday by then 21-year-old employee, Eric Balderas.
The first sexual assault occurred when Baldares brazenly took the minor girl offsite in his vehicle where he raped her by digital penetration and forced oral sex. This was the first of multiple violations of the written procedures of the Boys & Girls Clubs. After pleading guilty to sexual assault of a minor this past October, a Waller County, TX jury returned a guilty verdict and sentenced Balderas to a 37.5-year sentence.
“The jury should be commended for fitting the defendant’s punishment with his crime. It’s now time for the Boys & Girls Clubs, enablers of their employees’ outrageous conduct, to be held accountable for their role in failing to use reasonable care to protect the safety of this innocent child,” stated Sean Roberts, lead attorney for the Plaintiff.
Boys & Girls Clubs of America has faced similar lawsuits across the nation. In 2019, Hearst Connecticut Media went public with a six-month investigation into the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. The investigation found more than 350 instances of sexual abuse across 35 states, allegedly perpetrated by employees, volunteers, and other BGCA members when the victims were children.
The Hearst investigation examined thousands of criminal and civil court documents filed nationwide and found that children as young as 6 years old had been sexually assaulted and, in some instances, raped, according to reports. Some of the victims had allegedly been abused by the same perpetrator for years. Others were abused during school trips and sleepovers while the victims were isolated from their peers, according to claims. Some of the purported perpetrators identified in the investigation include club directors, coaches, and volunteers.
“Boys & Girls Clubs claims child safety is its number one priority, but they are failing and have unfortunately strayed from the mission of providing at-risk children a safe alternative to the streets,” said Roberts. “As a society, we can not afford the abuse and mistreatment of our children because these negative patterns often continue into the future.”
“This lawsuit is not only to seek accountability but also to refocus the Boys & Girls Clubs on what really matters — protecting children,” Roberts concluded. “We will get to the bottom of why this organization failed our client while she was in their care while refusing to provide any resources to her or her family even after knowing what happened to her.”
The Boys Club was founded by three women in Hartford, Connecticut in 1860. 60 years later, the Club began to recognize that girls, too, were a part of its cause, In 1990, it changed its name to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
About Roberts Markland, LLP
Roberts Markland LLP, is a personal injury trial law firm specializing in representing plaintiffs catastrophically injured by the negligence or recklessness of others. Led by attorneys Sean Roberts and Clive Markland and based in Houston, TX with offices in Denver, CO and New Orleans, LA. The firm is known for obtaining record-setting jury verdicts and notable settlements for the firm’s clients.