According to CNN, a Guatemalan man is suing two nonprofits that house migrant children for the U.S. government. He alleges that his son, who is 10-years-old, was forced to take drugs and was sexually assaulted while he was in custody.
The father and son say that they were separated at the U.S. border in January of 2018. The son was placed in the custody of a migrant shelter run by Southwest Key in Arizona and then was transferred to the Shiloh Treatment Center in Manvel, Texas.
The lawsuit says that both facilities “acted with fraud, malice and gross neglect” and the son “was dosed with powerful psychotropic drugs without parental consent.” More, he was sexually assaulted by another detainee in the last few weeks of his detainment at Shiloh.
The two were deported last year. The lawsuit is seeking damages for the emotional distress and medical expenses they suffered.
CNN has reported on more abuses at Shiloh and other facilities. These abuses include cases of children being forcibly medicated, assaulted, and restrained for long periods of time.
In July, U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee ordered the government to get “informed written consent” from a child’s guardian before administering psychotropic drugs to children at Shiloh. Shiloh staff admitted to signing consent forms themselves before giving drugs to children.
The lawsuit says that the son was misdiagnosed while he was in Shiloh and he was forced to take Lexapro and Risperdal without parental consent. He was also detained for almost a year “without legal authority or justification.”
"Despite his repeated requests to go home with his father and grandmother, there was no serious consideration of discharge," the lawsuit says. The lawsuit says the boy was “viewed as an asset” by Shiloh because the facility was paid daily for holding him in custody. That changed once he was sexually assaulted by another child in custody.
"After the sexual assault was reported ... he was viewed as a potential liability, and quickly deported," the lawsuit says.