Texas couple claim son abused at LaVerkin boarding school

Date: 2006-08-28

Elizabeth Neff
The Salt Lake Tribune

Posted: 8:51 AM- A lawsuit has been filed accusing a LaVerkin boarding school for troubled youths of forcing a teen to eat his own vomit, to clean toilets with a toothbrush and brush his teeth afterward, and locking him in a dog cage among other abuses.

William and Tammy Wood of Dallas say they enrolled their son, Chase, in the Cross Creek Center for Boys in 2000 and 2001, and in another California program - both owned and operated by the World Wide Association of Specialty Programs and Schools Inc. (WWASPS)

The operator of the center on Monday adamantly denied all the allegations.

"That's totally absurd," Karr Farnsworth said. "We do not abuse kids. We are a good program and we don't do things that are not appropriate. If we were donig those things we wouldn't have hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of happy kids and parents."

In a complaint filed in Utah's federal court Friday, the parents allege Chase was sexually and emotionally abused during his stays, denied adequate food, and put into long periods of isolation that left him with no education and ill equipped for the outside world.

The couple have asked a judge to find the WWASPS and its facilities have violated federal anti-racketeering laws by scheming to conceal abuses from parents who enroll their children.

The complaint asks a judge to issue an injunction preventing what the Woods called "further false advertising" misleading parents about the facilities. The lawsuit also seeks an unspecified amount of damages, including punitive damages, to be determined at trial.

Named defendants in the lawsuit are: World Wide Association of Specialty Programs and Schools Inc.; Cross Creek Center for Boys LLC; Cross Creek Manor LLC; High Impact; Robert Browning Lichfield Family Partnership; Teens in Crisis LLC; Teen Help LLC; R&B Management Group LLC; R&B Billing LLC; Robert Lichfield; Ken Kay; Karr Farnsworth; Jeff Voorhees; Does 1-20.

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