Parents of 8-year-old sexual assault victim file personal injury claim

By Jon Campisi | Aug 24, 2011

The parents of a young girl who was allegedly sexually assaulted three summers ago at a West Chester, Pa. swim club have filed a lawsuit against the parents of the minor boy, as well as those in charge of running the pool.

Philadelphia attorneys Kevin R. Marciano and Patrick D. MacAvoy, of the firm Marciano & MacAvoy, P.C., filed the personal injury complaint Aug. 23 at the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.

The plaintiffs in the case are identified only as M.A.H. and S.J.H. of Philadelphia. They are listed as the parents of the minor girl, S.N.H.

The defendants named in the lawsuit are a minor boy who perpetrated the alleged attack on S.N.H., as well as the alleged attacker's West Chester, Pa. parents.

Named as additional defendants are the Charter Chase Homeowners’ Association, which operates the Charter Chase Club Pool at 1393 Greenhill Road in West Chester, and Doylestown, Pa.-based Fox Pool Management, Inc.

According to the lawsuit, the minor girl, S.N.H., who was 8 years old at the time, was lured to a secluded bathroom and/or shower area of the swim club on an unknown day in the summer of 2008 by the alleged attacker.

The lawsuit says that he then forcibly removed clothing from S.N.H. and proceeded to sexually assault her.

“As a consequence of being sexually assaulted, minor-Plaintiff, S.N.H., sustained serious personal and psychological injuries, including but not limited to, physical trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder, severe physical and emotional pain, and depression,” the lawsuit states.

The plaintiffs have had to expend various sums of money to medically treat their daughter for her injuries, the lawsuit states.

“As a further result of the negligence, carelessness and/or recklessness of Defendants … minor Plaintiff, S.N.H., sustained and continues to sustain pain, suffering, humiliation, embarrassment and a loss of life’s pleasures, some or all of which may be permanent in nature,” the lawsuit states.

The complaint accuses Charter Chase and Fox Pool Management of failing to ensure that the premises were safe for guests. It states that the defendants did not provide adequate lighting, surveillance and security in the bathrooms, which is where the alleged attack took place.

The lawsuit faults the parents of the alleged attacker for “failing to supervise their child when he had shown dangerous propensities,” failing to warn others of their dangerous propensities of their child and “failing to recognize the dangerous predilection of their child.”

For each of the counts listed in the lawsuit, the plaintiffs seek judgment in their favor in an amount in excess of $50,000, plus punitive damages, pre-and-post-judgment and related court fees.

A jury trial has been demanded.

The case number is 110803340.

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