Atty. Ben Crump says DCFS failed to take action against man suspected of sexually abusing child
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - National civil rights attorney Ben Crump is joining ranks with a caretaker alleging Louisiana’s Department of Children and Family Services allowed a child to be repeatedly sexually abused and trafficked for the last decade.
Crump said on Monday, Dec. 13, he intends to figure out why John Mack, the man suspected of the crimes, was able to continue his “reign of terror” for years.
“What has happened in the past, over all these years, to make this sexual predator go, escape, and elude justice,” said Crump.
Mack was arrested on charges of rape and sexual battery in Livingston Parish in October. According to Mack’s alleged victim’s caregiver, LaToyia Porter, Mack started abusing the girl when she was six years old. In a previous interview with Porter, she said the reports of abuse “seemingly disappeared” when they were sent to DCFS and the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office.
According to Sheriff Jason Ard, until recently, his department did not have the evidence needed to make an arrest in the case.
Porter said she filed more than a dozen reports with DCFS about the alleged abuse. She added there was little to no response or action taken.
“Where were the people in DCFS and the state agencies who just said, ‘We got to do the right thing,’ why didn’t they do like LaToyia Porter, why were they so afraid?” asked Crump. “Because obviously, at best, it was gross negligence. At worst, it was willful neglect and the question is why.”
Crump said he plans to file a civil suit against DCFS for not taking action against Mack, preventing any future alleged abuse. He also said he wants to know if Mack’s family connections helped him cover for his reported crimes.
Mack is related to a state representative from Livingston Parish and a Livingston Parish councilman. Both politicians claim they have not had contact with Mack in more than a decade.
“It is our hope that they can get justice and the people who are involved who hurt them, that have stood by and watched them get hurt, or have used their positions to cover up the hurt, that those people are held accountable, that anyone who refused to investigate these reports, because we’re not the only entity that made multiple reports, these reports should be looked into thoroughly,” said Porter.
Marketa Walters, the secretary for DCFS, commented on the case for the first time Monday, issuing this statement:
Crump did not comment on when he plans to file the lawsuit.
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