West Virginia Record

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Suit states Tradet employee engaged in sexual conduct with minor

State Court

By Kyla Asbury | Jan 9, 2020

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WHEELING – An individual is suing Tradet Inc. over allegations they were molested by one of its employees.

I.M. filed the lawsuit against Tradet alleging they were molested when they were still a minor by Luther Hendricks Jr., who was employed by Tradet to work with computers for the company, according to a complaint filed in Ohio Circuit Court.

Hendricks had previously worked for Tradet until he was sentenced to federal prison for child pornography. Upon his release from prison, the defendant chose to rehire him despite being aware of his "vicious and horrific proclivities," the suit states.

Before re-hiring Hendricks, a company meeting was held in which several employees expressed concern over bringing Hendricks back, but the then-president still chose to rehire Hendricks, according to the suit.

I.M. alleges Hendricks had access to computers and other electronic devices and from January 2009 until November 2011, on at least four separate occasions, Hendricks engaged in sexual conduct with I.M., who was under the age of 12 at the time.

Hendricks also took nude and sexually suggestive photos of I.M. with electronic devices that belonged to Tradet and exhibited pornographic material on the Tradet devices to the plaintiff, according to the suit.

The suit states Hendricks is currently serving a life sentence for four counts of sexual abuse by a custodian; 10 counts of possession of material depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct; five counts of displaying to a minor obscene material; and one count of failure to register as a sex offender.

The defendant knew or should have known of Hendrick's proclivities and that he posed a risk to minors, according to the suit.

I.M. claims Tradet was negligent because it had reason to know its employee was dangerous and was likely to harm others by use of the computers and other electronic devices trusted to him.

The defendant's actions caused I.M. to suffer damages, severe emotional trauma, physical pain and losses, as well as medical bills and other expenses, according to the suit.

I.M. is seeking judgment against the defendant. The plaintiff is represented by Dean E. Williams.

Ohio Circuit Court case number 19-C-278

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