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Sexual Assault Victims and Their Attorneys Announce $6.8 Million Settlement in Hanna Boys Center Lawsuit

A $6.8 million settlement was announced for two brothers allegedly abused at Hanna Boys Center, reflecting significant harm and encouraging other victims to come forward.

Sonoma California – Attorneys representing two brothers allegedly abused as children at the Hanna Boys Center announced a $6.8 million settlement with the scandal plagued school.

The Hanna Boys Center was founded in 1947 as a residential treatment facility for troubled youth. The school is supervised and controlled by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Santa Rosa.

The two brothers were allegedly molested at the Hanna Boys Center by counselor Kevin Thorpe. Their lawsuit alleged that the Hanna Boys Center and its employees had knowledge that Thorpe was sexually abusing children on the Hanna Boys Center campus and his home, ignored evidence, and actively covered up the abuse.

Attorney and victim’s advocate Vince Finaldi said “The toxic environment at the Hanna Boys Center began at the top with the Catholic Diocese of Santa Rosa and the Center’s director Father John Crews. Child molestation was allowed to flourish, reports of abuse were dismissed, and victims were discouraged from coming forward. At-risk children who were sent to this facility to be helped had their lives destroyed.”

Victim’s Attorney Dan Beck said “The size of this settlement reflects the enormous harm that was done to our clients. It also sends a powerful message to other victims of child sexual abuse at the Hanna Boys Center and elsewhere – come forward and you will be believed.”

According to the lawsuit, the brothers began attending the center in September of 2006 when Robert was 13 years old and his brother was 15 years old. They soon came into contact with Kevin Thorpe, who was their caseworker and counselor at the center. It is alleged that Thorpe quickly began sexual conversations with each of the boys and took them to his home where he would play pornography for them and engage in sexual activity. Thorpe is also alleged to have engaged in sexual activity with each of the brothers on the Hanna Boys Center campus.

Speaking at a news conference, the brothers thanked their attorneys and the civil justice system. “Kevin Thorpe was sentenced to 21 years in prison for what he did to us, but it took this lawsuit to hold the Hanna Boys Center responsible for allowing him to hurt us and many others,” said plaintiff Robert Kennedy.

Manly Stewart & Finaldi is California’s leading law firm representing child victims of sexual abuse. The firm has represented more than 150 victims of clergy sexual abuse in California and hundreds of others throughout the United States. The firm also represented plaintiffs in the $140,000,000 settlement against LAUSD in the Miramonte case, the largest sex abuse settlement against a School District in the US. The firm currently represents more than 180 alleged victims of former Michigan State University and U.S. Women’s Gymnastics Olympic Team doctor Larry Nassar. Michigan State University has settled this case for $500,000,000, the largest settlement of any personal injury case against a University. In 2018, the firm settled cases against the Torrance Unified School District for $31 million on behalf of alleged victims of former wrestling coach and convicted child molester Thomas Snider; against Los Angeles Unified School district for $8 million in cases involving former football coach and convicted child molester Jamie Jimenez; and for $14 million in cases involving former Los Angeles Unified District employee Ronnie Lee Roman.

Beck Law is a local Santa Rosa law firm serving the North Bay with over 40 years’ experience representing clients in a variety of legal matters. Beck Law currently practices in Sonoma County, Lake County, Mendocino County, Napa County, and Marin County advising clients in Civil Litigation, Labor and Employment Law, Personal Injury Law, Business Litigation, Family Law, Criminal Defense, and Marijuana Compliance. Beck Law provides all clients access to a motivated legal team that engages in efficient and creative problem solving while providing aggressive and high-quality legal services. All clients will receive a one on one experience with an attorney to immediately analyze their case utilizing state of the art technology and cost-effective methods to provide services in a timely and efficient manner. Beck Law stands behind the belief that our clients always come first and has taken a special interest in representing child victims of sexual abuse. Most importantly, Beck Law strives to create a safe and understanding environment where victims feel confident and comfortable to come forward to seek justice and healing through a stronger foundation and improved future.

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Manly, Stewart & Finaldi is regarded as America's leading law firm for sexual abuse cases. As a firm that exclusively handles sexual abuse cases, our California law firm offers experienced representation to obtain justice for sexual abuse survivors, harassment, and discrimination.

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