Woman sexually assaulted at 15 now suing juvenile detention and treatment center

December 18, 2018 07:18 PM

A woman sexually assaulted at age 15 by a former correctional officer is now accusing a juvenile detention and treatment center in northern Minnesota of failing to stop the abuse from occurring, according to a federal lawsuit filed Tuesday morning.


The woman, identified in court records as Jane Doe, was sexually abused in 2014 at the North Homes Inc., a private nonprofit organization licensed by the state, according to court records.

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Devin Wood, then 23, was convicted of three counts of criminal sexual conduct after other children at the facility told police about the abuse. 

The survivor, now 20, says the abuse "tore me apart." 

"He would tell me 'When you graduate this treatment, we're going to go somewhere and it's going to be just us.' And I haven't had an actual family that's mine, you know," she said in an interview.  

"I craved that affection."

The lawsuit states that "it is inconceivable that Wood could have engaged in a continuous and inappropriate sexual relationship" without other staff members knowing about the abuse.

Ten North Homes' employees, who were not named in the suit, are accused of engaging in "shocking behavior and deliberate indifference to Jane's welfare and safety."

Jim Christmas, CEO of North Homes Inc., did not immediately return a call seeking comment. 

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Katherine Johnson

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