Nationally renowned civil rights attorney Ben Crump said he plans to move forward with a lawsuit against Louisiana’s agency overseeing child welfare over years-old allegations that Black children were sexually abused while in the state’s custody. Crump, who represents a woman claiming that she and her sibling were raped by “wealthy white men” when they were underaged, held a press conference to announce the lawsuit on Monday morning in Baton Rouge.
While the contents of the lawsuit were not immediately made available to the media, it is all but guaranteed to take aim at John Mack, an accused child rapist stemming from separate allegations. Crump referenced Mack last week while announcing his intentions to take up the case on behalf of the unidentified alleged victims.
Civil rights attorney Ben Crump speaks in Baton Rouge this morning about a Livingston Parish child sex abuse case that advocates say was mishandled. He says DCFS and various law enforcement agencies need to be held liable for slow-walking the case against John Mack for years. pic.twitter.com/Od2sawEAOf
— Lea Skene (@lea_skene) December 13, 2021
The lawsuit is expected to be filed against the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services, which was the agency that cared for the underage children at the time they claim they were sexually abused by Mack, 75, and others.
“It’s beyond heartbreaking and horrifying to hear my client’s stories of such extreme and longterm sexual abuse at hands of wealthy white men, including accused rapist John Mack,” Crump said in a brief statement emailed to NewsOne last week. “We should all be outraged that their multiple cries for help to the appropriate state agencies went unanswered for years. These agencies are responsible for these children’s safety; instead they turned a blind eye and allowed them to suffer horrific abuse for years, as though their lives and their pain had no meaning.”
All the details of the lawsuit were not immediately clear, but Mack — who is party of a wealthy, politically dynastic family in Louisiana — has been arrested twice in recent months on charges of child rape not related to Crump’s client. Most recently, a judge last month denied Mack’s bond request for a second time as he remains held in jail on charges of first-degree rape and sexual battery allegedly committed against an underage girl.
Mack’s nephews, state Rep. Sherman Mack and his brother, Livingston Parish Councilman Shane Mack hold powerful political positions in Louisiana.
Local news outlet the Advocate reported that Mack — who has been under investigation since 2019 but was only arrested this year — is accused of helping to organize “sex parties” with children between the ages of six and 13.
The person Crump is representing alleged that Mack forced her and her sister to “have sex with other men and let them touch us and then he got paid” in a sick scenario he allegedly described as a “game of sex.”
Crump suggested that this case is personal for him.
“These young Black girls, these babies, were left without a voice,” he contonued ion his statement. “As the father of a young Black girl who I would give my life to protect, it is my honor, my privilege and my weighty responsibility to provide that voice. What we are uncovering will shock the community, and we will not rest until all the facts are known and full justice is done.”
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