According to its site, the Boys and Girls Club of America provides “a safe place to learn and grow.” On Wednesday, a Chicago teen filed a lawsuit against the organization, claiming one of its local clubs wasn’t very safe at all.
The woman says she went to the club when she was 15, seeking job advice. Instead of offering her help, however, a counselor reportedly got her involved in porn and began a sexual relationship with the girl, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
The counselor and father of five, Zale Hoddenbach, allegedly told the girl she could make money by modeling lingerie and taking pictures of couples having sex. He then took the teen to a home in Chicago where he had her take pictures of him and another woman having sex, according to the lawsuit.
Hoddenbach then reportedly took pictures of the claimant and the other woman engaged in sexual activity. After the bizarre incident, Hoddenbach and the teen allegedly began a sexual relationship that lasted months, the suit claims.
Last year, Hoddenbach was charged with criminal sexual assault with a minor. The former counselor has been arrested at least 21 times and served prison time for felonies like aggravated battery, burglary, and armed robbery, according to the suit.
The victim is probably suing Hoddenbach for sexual battery. Sexual battery is the civil equivalent of rape or sexual assault. Instead of penalizing Hoddenbach with fines and jail time, a civil suit could allow the alleged victim to win compensation for any injuries, pain and suffering, and emotional distress the incident caused her.
On the other hand, suing the Boys and Girls Club rather than just Hoddenbach will probably be more effective. That’s because its easier to enforce a judgment against an organization that has deep pockets.
The victim is suing the Chicago-area club for negligent hiring and negligent supervision. She’s probably claiming that the club had a duty to protect its members from abuse, and that by hiring a known felon, it breached that duty and allowed the victim to be injured. Related Resources:
- Call a Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer (Chicago Legal Authority)
- Lawsuit: Club Hired Felon Who Took Nude Photos of Teen (Chicago Tribune)
- Damages (Chicago Legal Authority)