Sexual abuse claim at New Hampshire youth center settled for $1.5 million

A claim made to a legislative fund established in New Hampshire to settle allegations by people who said they were physically and sexually assaulted at the state’s youth detention center has for the first time been resolved for the maximum $1.5 million, the state attorney general announced Tuesday.

“We anticipate more and more frequent resolutions in the coming months as the process gains momentum,” Attorney General John Formella said in a statement. “There are currently more than 50 claims filed, with more expected.”

The state faced more than 700 lawsuits alleging abuse stretching back six decades at the Sununu Youth Services Center, formerly called the Youth Development Center. As an alternative to litigation, lawmakers established a $100 million settlement fund.


“We hope that victims who are considering filing with the claim fund will be encouraged by today’s news,” Formella said. “We continue to believe that the YDC settlement fund provides a meaningful victim-centered, trauma informed alternative for those seeking to avoid lengthy and unpleasant litigation.”

Attorneys at the Shaheen & Gordon law firm said in February that they had reached an undisclosed settlement through the fund on a behalf of a client lower than the $1.5 million maximum.

Ten men were charged in April 2021 with either sexually assaulting or acting as accomplices to the assault of more than a dozen teenagers from 1994 to 2007, while an 11th man faces charges related to a pre-trial facility in Concord.


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