Lawsuit claims patient sexually abused at Elgin Mental Health Center

By Sarah Zoellick
Daily Herald correspondent
Updated 11/4/2017 9:41 PM

A lengthy federal lawsuit says a former patient at the Elgin Mental Health Center fell victim there to sexual assault, battery, sexual abuse of a disabled person and rape.

The lawsuit, filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, says Benahdam Hurt became a patient at the facility in August 2014 after being found not guilty by reason of insanity of aggravated battery of a peace officer, and he remained there until July of this year.

From the day he arrived at the facility, throughout his stay and even after his discharge, a licensed social worker manipulated Hurt into sex, according to his complaint.

The complaint names three staff members as defendants, along with the director of the Elgin Mental Health Center, James P. Corcoran; the center itself; and the Illinois Department of Human Services.

The lawsuit alleges "slave-like sexual control and manipulation" of Hurt, describing incidents such as the social worker showing Hurt illicit pictures of herself.

It says two other staff members and other defendants "were complicit in the sexually perverse relationship ... and acquiesced to allow the sexual misconduct to continue."

The social worker accused of abusing Hurt was fired from the facility in July after "computers, flash drives, iPods and other electronic gadgets were confiscated during a mysterious investigation" of his patient room, according to the suit.

The complaint says Hurt's injuries, such as great pain and emotional distress and aggravation of pre-existing conditions, were "caused by the unconstitutional and brutal concerted conduct of all these defendants."

Court records indicate that the defendants have not yet filed a response to Hurt's complaint.

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