Los Angeles County is proposing to settle a lawsuit by paying $500,000 each to an 18-year-old girl and her 16-year-old sister, who were allegedly abused sexually by one of their foster parents from 2012 through 2014.
The Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit identifies the plaintiffs only as A.R., the older sibling, and C.R. The complaint was filed on their behalf by their mother, alleging negligence, sexual battery, assault and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Attorneys for the county filed court papers Tuesday, June 6, with Judge Elaine Lu seeking approval of the accord. Both plaintiffs were minors when the case was filed in April 2020.
According to the lawsuit, A.R. and C.R. were transferred to the Department of Children and Family Services’ care in October 2012, and the department placed both of them with a foster family agency. They were eventually put in the care of foster mother Lorena Medina and her husband and fellow foster parent, Jose, the suit states. The suit alleges Jose Medina abused other children DCFS placed in the Medina home before 2012 and that despite having knowledge of such abuses, the agency did not investigate.
From 2012 through 2014, Jose Medina “sexually abused, assaulted, attacked, molested and raped A.R. and C.R.,” according to the suit. In August 2013, the plaintiffs underwent medical examinations for suspected sexual abuse after A.R. complained of pain while urinating as well as itching in her buttocks, according to the suit. The examining physician then notified the DCFS, Director Philip Browning and Chief Deputy Director Brandon Nichols that the examinations indicated possible child sexual abuse, the suit states.
In May 2019, A.R. reported to her mother that Medina had sexually molested her and C.R., the suit states. The siblings’ mother then contacted her case worker and reported what her children told her, the suit states. The sexual abuse was reported to DCFS and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, and a criminal complaint was filed against Jose Medina by the District Attorney’s Office, the suit states.
The suit also alleges that due to the small size of the Medina home, Lorena Medina “knew of should have known” that her husband was abusing the plaintiffs, but failed to report it.