Glade Run faces new lawsuit

January 11, 2019 Cranberry Local News

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Only days after settling a lawsuit alleging sexual abuse, a Zelienople youth service program is being sued again over similar accusations — including claims that the program's lax supervision led to sexual assaults in 2014.

“A brief review of the facts, as stated in [the victims] complaint, demonstrates [Glade Run's] actions and inactions are appalling,” Michael Pisanchyn, the lawyer behind the lawsuit, said in a prepared statement. “These include defendants not having adequate staff in its facilities which even to this day put these medically fragile and intellectually disabled human beings placed at risk of being raped, injured and/or even killed.”

The nonprofit Glade Run no longer offers residential services to children. The company now serves 4,000 youths with mental health and education services through numerous facilities including in Butler, Cranberry Township, Zelienople, Beaver Falls, Pittsburgh and Sharon. According to its website, the organization focuses on education, mental health and autism.

On Dec. 31, Glade Run settled a lawsuit that was filed by the Pisanchyn law firm 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.

Now, in this new lawsuit, similar accusations have been made against Glade Run but the victim of the alleged sex abuse is a different boy. Starting in 2013, a then 9-year-old Butler County boy, the plaintiff in the new lawsuit, was forced to perform a sexual act and was subjected to sexual assaults, according to the lawsuit's documents. The accusations are much like the previous one. Like the last, this new lawsuit alleges that the group's staff failed to supervise the children, allowing these sexual acts to occur.

“Glade Run Corp. staff members watched television on the job during the overnight shift, instead of watching the children whose lives were in their hands,” according to the lawsuit, which was filed at the Allegheny County court and named Glade Run Lutheran Services, Glade Run Lutheran Services Corp. and Charles Lockwood, former president and CEO, as defendants.

When Glade Run settled the previous lawsuit, officials wouldn't comment on the case. On Friday, Glade Run's CEO, Steven Green said that he hadn't yet seen the new lawsuit. Asked about the allegations made, Green said, “I've been with the agency for six months. We've made a lot of positive changes and we continue to provide an array of services.”

He continued, “It's really a new day at Glade Run with all new leadership.”

Pisanchyn noted that at least one other lawsuit against Glade Run-Zelienople would be filed in the coming weeks.

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