Attorney: ‘Why Didn’t Louisiana State Workers Protect Children’?
Serious allegations have been filed against the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services. Civil Rights Attorney Ben Crump accuses the agency of sexual abuse involving children.
WAFB reports Crump is joining forces with a caretaker alleging state workers let at least two children be sexually abused and trafficked over the past ten years. Crump says he wants to know why John Mack was able to continue his “reign of terror” for years. Crump says: “What has happened in the past over all these years to make this sexual predator go, escape and elude justice.
What Are the Alleged Crimes in this Case?
Mack was arrested in Livingston Parish in October. He’s charged with rape and sexual battery. Crump says Mack allegedly began abusing young girls when one of them was just 6 years old. The child’s caregiver, La Toyia Porter says her reports of abuse were not followed up on when they were sent to see workers at DCFS and the Livingston Sheriff’s Office. According to Crump, Porter filed more than a dozen reports about this alleged abuse with DCFS workers and not much was ever done about it.
Crump says this inaction is “at best it was gross negligence, at worst it was willful neglect, and the question is why.”
Crump is filing a civil suit against DCFS for not taking action against Mack.
What Is the State Response to These Allegations of Abuse?
A response has been issued by Marketa Garner Walters, Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services.
“We welcome the attention that this case is getting, and we join in the outrage that people feel about what has happened to this young woman. This is especially troubling to our child welfare staff, who have dedicated their careers to advancing the safety and well-being of Louisiana’s children. As soon as I was notified about the case involving this child, I launched an internal review to examine the facts and the need to strengthen our processes and procedures."
And she adds:
"We have been working with the Child Welfare League of America to determine the best way to do an independent audit of this case by Child Welfare experts. We want to have a full and complete understanding of this case, and we want to be able to identify any weaknesses in our system and correct them. In addition, we are cooperating fully and willingly with the Office of Inspector General and look forward to any recommendations they may have. Our internal review found no evidence of a cover up on the part of our staff. However, should the OIG’s investigation find otherwise, we’ll take swift action. We investigate cases on behalf of child safety regardless of who’s connected to a case.”
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