Butler County argues girls who made false sexual assault accusations did not commit a crime
Alexandria MansfieldEagle Staff Writer
JACKSON TWP — A motion filed this week on behalf of Butler County argues five girls who made false sexual assault accusations against a teenaged boy did not commit a crime, making the claims made in an October lawsuit without merit.
The response addresses the lawsuit brought by Alecia and Michael Flood Jr. in the U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh, claiming their minor son, identified as T.F. in the suit, suffered physical torment and psychological trauma as a result of false sexual assault allegations.
Cranberry Township attorney Marie Milie Jones, defense for Butler County and the District Attorney's Office, argued in a motion filed Wednesday that unfair treatment between T.F. and the girls who accused him of sexual assault cannot be the basis of an argument because the girls “were not alleged to have committed a crime.”
“It is obvious that the girls and T.F. are not comparators/similarly situated as required to state a claim,” the motion reads. “T.F., a male, was the accused, and the minor female plaintiffs were the accusers or victims.”
Butler County and the District Attorney's Office are both accused in the lawsuit of equal rights violations based on gender under the 14th Amendment. Both are claiming no liability and have filed a motion to have the case dismissed with prejudice.
The county, according to the motion, is a local government and can't be held liable for individuals' actions. The county's defense states Butler County may be liable only if the “alleged unconstitutional action” is the result or representation of a policy.
Additionally, Jones also argued that District Attorney's offices “are not entities that have the capacity to be sued,” as they do not have policy-making authority.
“The harm directly stems from T.F.'s own prosecution,” Jones wrote, “from which the County Defendants are immune from suit.”
Butler County's Wednesday response to the lawsuit was among a total of six defendants' filings, five of which were completed this week — two months after the lawsuit was filed.
In another filing, David and Christy Sherk asked that the negligence charges against them be dismissed under the same argument as previous parents: inability to reasonably influence their daughter's actions.
Since their daughter, K.S., made the allegations against T.F., their claim is that they were unaware of their daughter's alleged sexual assault allegation.
Like the other families' filings, Cranberry Township attorney Jill Sinatra, who is representing the Sherk family, has also cited absolute privilege and the statute of limitations as K.S.'s defense in a motion to dismiss accusations against her.
The original lawsuit documents allege that Meghan Villegas and minors K.S., C.S., E.S. and H.R. falsely accused T.F. of sexual assault twice — for which he was punished — and accuses their parents, George Villegas Jr., Pam Villegas, David and Christy Sherk, David and Christine Seaman, Cris and Kimberly Salancy and David and Lynn Reina of negligence.
Also listed as defendants are Seneca Valley School District, Butler County District Attorney's Office and Butler County as entities that exercised gender-based discrimination and failed to properly investigate the initial charges brought against T.F.