Alleged rape of a teen at heart of suit against Tri-State

By Justin Anderson | May 20, 2009

CHARLESTON – A 12-year-old girl is suing the owners of Tri-State Racetrack and a worker, claiming racetrack security failed to protect her from being raped in the dog kennel area.

CHARLESTON – A 12-year-old girl is suing the owners of Tri-State Racetrack and a worker, claiming racetrack security failed to protect her from being raped in the dog kennel area.

The girl, identified as Jane Doe, sued through next friend Jessica Stultz on May 5 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Named as defendants are: Racing Corp. of West Virginia, doing business as Tri-State Racetrack, doing business as Mardi Gras Gaming and Earl Lee Conway.

Conway was indicted in April by a Kanawha grand jury on charges of third degree sexual assault and sexual abuse by a custodian.

In the lawsuit, the girl claims that security officials failed to notice that Conway was bringing an unauthorized person –- and sometimes alcohol –- into the dog kennel area of the racetrack.

The lawsuit says that there is a security gate at the entrance to the kennel and only people with permission can go back there.

But she says she was taken back to the area on multiple occasions in 2006 and 2007 by Conway and subjected to rape and sexual assault.

The girl claims she was raped on at least three occasions by Conway.

The lawsuit says Conway was an employee of Tri-State Racetrack. However, a spokeswoman for the track told the Charleston Gazette that Conway worked for the dog kennel, which is a separate entity.

The plaintiff is seeking compensatory and punitive damages.

Thomas A. Rist and Dana F. Eddy are representing the plaintiff. The case is before Kanawha Circuit Judge Louis Bloom.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 09-C-821

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