Child assaulted at after-school club - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

Child assaulted at after-school club

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

You drop your child off, after school, at the Boys and Girls Club and assume they're safe. But NBC12 has learned of a disturbing account from a mother who says her 14-year-old got pregnant at the Boys and Girls Club of Metro Richmond in Hopewell and had a baby.

The perpetrator was convicted of carnal knowledge of a child. The club says it has no legal responsibility.

NBC12 talked with all sides in this tragedy and explains why the young victim and her mother -- called us to go public now.
 
Glenise Evans was insulted and got angry when the Boys and Girls Club offered her $5,000 just a few weeks ago. She calls it hush money to keep quiet. The club's attorney says it was a settlement offer to avoid additional legal fees.
   
Glenise filed a $2.5 million lawsuit and the club worked to get it dismissed on several grounds, including an arcane Virginia law.  

Nicholas is almost two years old and is really loved despite how he came into this world. All is good in the arms of his now 17-year-old mother, when Tiara Evans isn't crying about the Boys and Girls Club.

"I didn't know that was going to happen to me. I didn't want it to happen," said Tiara. "They said that I was lying. They didn't believe me. The director used to talk about me to my friends."

"What did they say you were lying about?" asked On Your Side Investigator Diane Walker.
"About him raping me," replied Tiara.

Reginald Jackson was charged with forcible sodomy and abduction. The senior, and star football player for Hopewell High pled guilty to a lesser charge of carnal knowledge of a child and registered as a sex offender. NBC12 talked to him twice on the phone.

Reggie says he had just turned 18, didn't know Tiara was 14, and the two were thinking about dating. He says Tiara initiated the meeting. Her mom, Glenise Evans, says it's not true.

Glenise says it was a violent sex act. Her baby girl didn't seduce Reggie. She says it happened in a vacant second floor room while the building was full of other children and staff.

"I do believe he raped my daughter," she said. "The last time we were in court and we saw him. She got in a fetal position on the floor in court."
   
Glenise says security lapses lead to the sexual abuse of her, then, 14-year-old daughter in September of 2011. Tiara had been a member since she was six.  
   
"I wasn't out clubbing. I wasn't out shopping, at home laying around. I'm at work and I paid a fee for my child to go after school. I tried to put her in a safe environment. They just let somebody come in the building that was not a member, come in the club. Grab her and do whatever he wanted to do," Glenise said.

A statement from the club's attorney says, in part, they leased part of the building which the Hopewell Football Team also used. It says after a thorough investigation, it concluded Tiara's claim was highly questionable factually and that there's no case for legal liability. 

The charitable immunity doctrine and the club's deep pockets are why Glenise says she dropped her $2.5 million lawsuit for damages.
    
"I do believe my daughter was raped and this doctrine allows them to be not financially responsible," she said.

Charities are immune from liability based on claims of negligence by people who benefit from their services. The law's original intent was to protect charities from bankruptcy. Today's critics say it's a bat to stave off liability.

"She didn't matter and I don't matter and what happened to her, that didn't matter either," said Glenise.

Before the court hearings to dismiss the suit, Glenise got a $5,000 non-disclosure offer to settle. She rejected the money and dropped the suit.

"I think the $5,000 was simply hush money so that I would sit and be quiet and not tell what happened. Just keep it under wraps," Glenise told us. "A slap in the face. I'm a so called nobody. Just give that single parent $5,000 just to shut her up. So, for me just to tell my story so that this won't happen to anybody else. So that other parents who are working and just trying to do the best they can for their kids would know."

A letter went out to parents after what happened to Tiara. The program has moved to a new building and now members have to check in using a security system before entering the building.
           
The club says it wishes the best for Tiara and her family. "We take very seriously the trust our kids families give us...Staff receive regular training and we are in full compliance with the Virginia Department of Social Services licensing requirements."

"When you look at Nicholas do you think of that day?" asked Diane.
"No, I try to erase everything that happened," Tiara replied.

"I was told, 'when you look at him, you'll see his father and you'll see that he came through a product of rape.' But I don't see that. I see my little grandson. Bright. He's my joy. I don't see any bad in him," said Glenise.

Reggie says he's not sure he's the father. He hasn't had a DNA test. Like Tiara, his life changed. The 6'1", 260-pound athlete had a full college scholarship and lost it and says it's not easy finding a job when you're a convicted sex offender.

Tiara was in her seventh month when her mom realized her 14-year-old was pregnant.
Virginia is one of ten states that has a charitable immunity law.
     
The take-away here, if something really bad happens to your child in a program run by a charitable organization, you may not be able to sue for damages.  

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