A 2016 lawsuit alleging sexual abuse in a Zelienople youth service program was settled recently for “an adequate sum of money.”
According to the unnamed minor’s lawyer, Michael Pisanchyn Jr., the lawsuit was settled privately outside of court with Glade Run, a nonprofit that provides youth services.
“The matter has resolved through settlement for a full and adequate sum of money. Paperwork is being filed today in regard to finalizing the monetary settlement,” the law firm announced in a statement Dec. 31, explaining “that the family of this child will be able to adequately care for his needs for the rest of his life.”
Pisanchyn also said he would bring two other lawsuits against Glade Run over other claims of sexual abuse. One case, Pisanchyn said, involved a 9-year-old. Pisanchyn said the abuse occurred in 2013 and that he expected to file the lawsuits within the next 10 days.
Glade Run is a nonprofit that provides mental health and education services to more than 4,000 youths and adults with facilities in Butler, Cranberry Township, Zelienople, Beaver Falls, Pittsburgh and Sharon. According to its website, the organization focuses on education, mental health and autism.
The settled lawsuit was filed in 2016 on behalf of a teenage boy a year after Zelienople borough police investigated allegations of sexual activity between residents at the Glade Run Lutheran Services facility that housed more than 90 youths at the time, police officials said in previous reports. The facility no longer serves as a residence for youths, according to Steven Green, who was hired as CEO about six months ago.
The suit, which was originally filed at the Allegheny County court, named Glade Run Lutheran Services, Glade Run Lutheran Services Corp. and Charles Lockwood, former president and CEO, as defendants.
The complaint states the teen was making progress at the facility from January through March 2015 and was “happier, calmer, was improving his interpersonal skills and was improving his ability to communicate with relatives and friends.”
But in March of that year, he began to regress.
“John Doe was subjected to other instances of sexual assault — including, but not limited to: attempted rape, oral sex, unwanted touching and unwanted exposure,” the complaint states. “During the time period that John Doe was subjected to these acts, the staff at Glade Run Corporation did not protect John Doe.”
The complaint states that the teenager, who was 15 at the time of the suit’s filing, had his pleas for help “met with anger, hostility, violence and public embarrassment by the Glade Run staff.”
Responding to a request for comment on the settlement, Green sent a prepared statement saying he could not speak directly about the lawsuit.
“Glade Run’s priority has always been to provide quality behavioral health and educational services to children, adults and families,” the statement read. “As an organization, we have evolved over the past few years to meet the increasingly challenging needs of those we serve. We have worked very hard to provide these services in the communities of our clients with the intent to serve people where they live, work and play.”
Glade Run was investigated by the state Department of Human Services last year for sexual abuse, which allegedly took place from March to July 2015 and involved several youths ranging in age from 8 to 13, according to previous reports.
One campus facility had its license revoked in October 2015, but Glade Run appealed and reached a settlement with the department in 2016 that restored its license. No charges were filed against Glade Run by the Butler County District Attorney’s Office.