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Attorneys appealing court's dismissal of case against juvenile hall corrections officer

Attorneys have filed an appeal after a lawsuit alleging a Juvenile Hall corrections officer watched a teen girl shower was dismissed last month in federal court.

The appeal, filed by Los Angeles-based lawyer Thomas C. Seabaugh, who, along with Bakersfield's Chain Cohn Stiles, is representing the plaintiff, was filed Thursday in response to the court's summary judgment Dec. 18. The court dismissed the case against corrections officer George Anderson and the County of Kern. 

In her ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Jennifer L. Thurston found "the evidence did not support a conclusion that the defendants violated Plaintiff's rights arising under the United States Constitution."

Seabaugh and Chain Cohn Stiles attorney Neil Gehlawat issued the following statement Friday:

“Our client alleges that she was propositioned for sex by a juvenile corrections officer at Juvenile Hall, who also engaged in voyeurism by watching her in the shower on multiple occasions. She is one of three former wards who we have represented, all of whom alleged that they were the victims of sexual misconduct by corrections officers at juvenile hall.

"The federal district court ruled in December in this case that even if our client’s allegations were true, that the conduct she alleged would not violate the constitution. We are currently in the process of appealing that decision to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Civil rights cases against law enforcement are often protracted and difficult, but we remain committed to obtaining justice for our client.”

The lawsuit alleged the abuse occurred after the plaintiff arrived at Juvenile Hall on Jan. 19, 2015. She spoke with a counselor about Anderson on Feb. 6, 2015.

The Californian is not identifying the plaintiff because she was a minor when the alleged abuse occurred. 

J.J. Zahry, director of administrative services for the Kern County Probation Department, which oversees Juvenile Hall, said Anderson remains on administrative leave. 

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