N4T Investigators: Tucson-based child care network facing sex abuse lawsuits

Chorus Nylander , News 4 Tuscon •

TUCSON, Ariz. (KVOA) — A Tucson-based network for troubled youth and foster children is facing numerous lawsuits across the country.

In the latest lawsuit filed last month by the New York City firm Levy Konisberg, Visionquest National Ltd. is accused by 20 different plaintiffs that they were sexually abused as children.

"Children that were at these residential facilities run by Visionquest were sexually abused by staff members for decades," said attorney Anna Kull.

Kull is part of the Levy Konisberg team behind the lawsuit, she said the company has a long history of similar allegations and reports of misconduct and believes the company failed to address such issues within its ranks.

"When you start seeing a pattern of misconduct, that really tells you this is a systemic issue in that facility, within this organization," she said.

Each of the plaintiffs in this lawsuit is from Pennsylvania, Kull said that is because the state has recently expanded the statute of limitations for people who experienced sexual abuse as a child.

In Arizona, people who faced sexual abuse as a child have 12 years from their 18th birthday to file a lawsuit.

Kull said the issues they are being made aware of are across the country.

"It's a national organization, they operate throughout the United States and we are seeing issues in all of their facilities," Kull said.


About the Expert

Jessica Feierman oversees Juvenile Law Center’s projects and programs. Feierman currently leads a national effort to end fines and fees in the juvenile justice system and is engaged in litigation aimed at eliminating solitary confinement and other abusive practices in juvenile facilities.