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Parents Sue City Over Teen-Ager's Alleged Ordeal After Arrest : Courts: The Sylmar girl was picked up last year for trespassing at Reseda High School. : Her family says she was abducted, drugged and raped after being released from custody to an 'unknown person.'

September 29, 1992|JULIO MORAN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

The parents of a teen-age Sylmar girl are suing the city of Los Angeles, complaining that she was abducted, drugged and raped because police failed to notify them when she was released from custody after a trespassing arrest.

Norman D. James, an attorney representing the parents, said he expects to serve city officials with a copy of the lawsuit today. A spokesman for the city attorney's office said he could not comment on the suit until the city is served and the suit reviewed.

The suit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court last week, says that on Sept. 26, 1991, at about 12:30 p.m. the girl, then 13, was detained by school security officers for being on the Reseda High School campus without authorization.

The matter was reported to police, who then took her to the West Valley station where she was booked on suspicion of misdemeanor trespass, then released about 5 p.m. to an unknown person.

The parents contend in their suit that the "unknown person" the police released the girl to was not authorized by the parents to pick up their daughter.

James also said there may have been no such person, that the girl may simply have been released on her own with other teen-age girls who were also arrested that day for trespassing.

As a result, the suit says, the parents were unaware of the whereabouts of their daughter for six days after she was released by police. While she was missing, the girl allegedly was drugged and sexually assaulted, and she continues to suffer "great mental, physical and nervous pain," according to the suit.

When police arrested the girl, they "assumed a duty of care" to "afford safety and security to the minor child in their custody," the suit says. The parents contend that officers were negligent in releasing their daughter without notifying them and seeking their authorization.

The suit is seeking at least $25,000 in damages and unspecified amounts for medical and other expenses.

The suit contends that the experience has prevented the girl from attending school and taking part in other activities on a regular basis, and as a result, that there will be some loss of future earning capacity.

Police Lt. George Rock of the West Valley station said police investigated allegations the girl was abducted and sexually assaulted, but he could not immediately determine the inquiry's outcome.

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