St. Leonard’s Ministries Ordered to Pay Assault Victims $18 Million After Failing to Provide Adequate Security.

Hundreds of people are assaulted every year in parking lots, schools, work places, hotels, college campuses, nursing homes, and business. Injuries vary widely, and are often both emotionally and physically harming.  Assault victims and loved ones often wonder if the incident could have been prevented. In many cases, the answer is yes. Frequently, if the area where the attack occurred had been equipped with the proper security devices, security guards, and adequate lighting and locks, the assault incident could have been avoided.

In 2009, a serial rapist sexually assaulted three women at knifepoint in Chicago. That rapist, Julius Anderson, had previously walked out of St. Leonard’s Ministries, the halfway house where he had been staying. Anderson, who had been paroled only two months earlier, was on the loose for 24 days, committing various sexual assaults. He had a long history of sexually assaulting women and was a very violent and mentally-ill man. He is currently serving a 75-year prison sentence for his crimes.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the three victims filed a lawsuit against St. Leonard’s Ministries for allegedly failing to provide adequate security and not alerting police when Anderson went missing. In fact, Chicago police were not notified until 12 days after Anderson escaped. A Chicago jury deliberated for less than one hour and ultimately awarded the three plaintiffs $18 million.

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