CHARLESTON - A Raleigh County man is suing the West Virginia Division of Rehabilitation Services over an incident that took place in October 2004 when the man claims he was sexually abused for two hours.

Only known as J.H. in a lawsuit filed March 14 in Kanawha Circuit Court, the plaintiff says he was assaulted by another man while a student/client at the West Virginia Rehabilitation Center in Institute.

"As a proximate result of the negligence of the defendant, J.H. underwent molestation by Jeff Bell for a two-hour period and sustained intense and lasting psychological trauma, fear, impairment of his ability to enjoy life, physical injury and cost and expenses for ongoing counseling," the complaint says.

Because J.H. is an individual whose mobility is compromised, the complaint adds, he was put in a room in the "Attended Care Unit" wing of the West Virginia Rehabilitation Hospital at the Rehabilitation Center while a student/client there.

J.H. says that he was told he would be safe in that room, but on Jan. 4, 2005, he was sexually assaulted in his room by Bell, another student/client, for two hours and no one came to help.

He charges the Division of Rehabilitation Services with negligence, stemming from failure to properly supervise unauthorized persons, failure to provide proper security, failure to enforce rules concerning curfews and bed checks and continuing Bell in a student/client and employee status after receiving complaints of his conduct.

J.H. seeks compensatory damages. His attorney is Mark D. Moreland, and Judge Jennifer Bailey Walker has been assigned the case.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 06-C-479

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