ILLINOIS’ FORGIVING VIEW OF CHILD MOLESTERS
It’s easy to talk about Alabama... Those people are Southern redneck Bible-thumpers, right? Do you think Illinois voters are more enlightened, more liberal, less tolerent of child molesters? But we are responsible for the actions of government officials and employees. One such government employee, a social worker named Christy Lenhardt, was a perpetrator of sexual abuse of a disabled person on a daily basis for three years in a state institution (Elgin Mental Health Center, a world-renowned psychiatric hospital). And various individuals, including several administrators and MD psychiatrists) who were required by policy and law to report any slightest hint of such abuse within four hours failed or neglected to do so (for three years)! How much better are we Illinois voters than the people who elect Roy Moore, if we do nothing? Christy Lenhardt has not been arrested fo the class 3 felony which she obviously committed and has incriminated herself by her own emails to the victim, and she retains her state license as a social worker. In fact, the state paid her over $27,000 after her crime was reported, well known and under active investigation by the State Police. And by the way, the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation has not seen any urgency in revoking her social worker’s license; nor has the Joint Commission seen any urgency in awking Elgin Mental Health Center why they should retain their accreditation in the face of this scandal.
The complaint in a federal civil lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Benahdam Hurt v. James Patrick Corcoran, et al, No. 14 C 5987, is. Public document that should be read in detail by anyone tempted to feel superior to Alabama voters in regards to tolerance of child molestation.
One of the darkest details of the Hurt case is the allegation that Christy Lenhardt effected the escape of an admitted child molester from Elgin Mental Health Center eleven years ago. That individual has remained a fugitive from justice since 2006, walking the streets and probably finding more young victims. How much better are we than those backward, racist Alabamans? Where is evidence of our disgust and outrage? Why doesn’t Christy Lenhardt wear the scarlet letter of pedophilia? Why hasn’t she been sent to Alabama, instead of being defended and protected at Illinoistxpayers’ expense? The years of civil litigation will be expensive, but the loss of public faith in our so-called “forensic mental health system” will be the most lasting legacy. At least, we have to hope there will be a loss of faith.
S. Randolph Kretchmar
(Counsel for Plaintiff Benahdam Hurt)