Baltimore City Juvenile Justice Center Sex Abuse Lawsuits

On this page, we will look at sex abuse lawsuits involving juveniles who were detained at the Baltimore City Juvenile Justice Center (BCJJC), a detention facility in Baltimore, Maryland for juvenile offenders. A new law in Maryland now gives victims of child sexual abuse the ability to file civil lawsuits against the state to seek financial compensation even when the abuse occurred decades ago.


The Baltimore City Juvenile Justice Center is a juvenile detention and reform facility operated by the state of Maryland and located in Baltimore City. BCJJC was opened in 2003 in a newly built, multi-purpose facility located at 300 North Gay Street (just a few blocks from City Hall).

BCJJC is more than just a detention center. The building actually has court facilities for both Circuit Court Judges and juvenile masters. It also houses attorneys for the state, law enforcement personnel, and staff for the Department of Juvenile Services who do intake and assessments for juveniles admitted to the facility.

The Department of Juvenile Services runs a full security juvenile detention facility at BCJJC where they house up to 120 male juvenile offenders. Most of these boys come from Baltimore City. At BCJJC, the juvenile inmates get food, medical care, schooling, and counseling. They also have areas to play and relax. The boys who stay at the detention center go to school there all year, five days a week, for six hours each day.

The juvenile inmates at BCJJC come primarily from Baltimore City, Baltimore County and Anne Arundel County. Demographically, BCJJC has the higher percentage of African American inmates than any other juvenile facility in Maryland. 93% of the juvenile detainees at BCJJC are Black. 2% are White and 5% are Hispanic. 15-year-olds are the largest age demographic at 27%. Over half of the detainees at BCJJC are convicted or charged with crimes involving violence. Carjacking is the most common offense. BCJJC is Operated by the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services.

Recent Lawsuits for Sexual Abuse at Maryland Juvenile Facilities

In October 2023, new Maryland legislation known as the Child Victim’s Act went into effect and lifted the statute of limitations for civil lawsuits pertaining to child sexual abuse. Under this sweeping new law, individuals who were the victims of childhood sexual abuse are able to pursue legal action even decades later.

Soon after this new CVA law went into effect, a growing wave of former juvenile inmates at Maryland juvenile facilities such as BCJJC, Hickey School, and others, began filing civil lawsuits against the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services. 3 Months after the CVA took effect, over 50 former juvenile inmates stepped up and sued the Department of Juvenile Services, saying they were sexually abused while they were at places like BCJJC, the Hickey School and other juvenile detention centers in Maryland, like the Waxter School. They claim certain staff members at these places sexually abused and attacked them while they were held there. A lot of these incidents supposedly happened when the victims were detained in the rooms.

Sex Abuse Victims Can Get Money

Anyone who was the victim of sexual abuse or assault when they were a detained as a juvenile at BCJJC or any other youth jail can now get money in a civil lawsuit. Thanks to Maryland Child Victims Act, it doesn’t matter how long ago the abuse occurred. Under the CVA, victims can still sue at any time, even if they never reported the abuse when it happened, and even if they never told anyone at all about it.


What Counts as Sexual Abuse?

As a practical matter, sex abuse can range from groping to forcible rape. The 2 key elements that must be present to meet the definition of sexual abuse are: (1) physical touching, and (2) lack of consent.

The first element of sex abuse is physical touching. To constitute sexual abuse or assault there must be actual physical contact of a sexual nature. Verbal sexual harassment is not enough.

The second element of sexual abuse or assault is the absence of consent. Lack of consent is the key element that defines all categories of sexual assault. If the sexual touching is not consensual it is automatically abuse or assault. Minors (anyone under the age of 18) lack the legal capacity to give consent, which means any sexual touching by an adult with a minor is necessarily considered sexual abuse.

The big thing that makes it sexual abuse or assault is that the victim didn’t agree to it. When kids (under 18) are involved, they can’t agree to sexual stuff legally. So, if an adult does anything sexual to a kid, it’s considered sexual abuse.

Holding BCJJC Liable for Abuse

The Department of Juvenile Services and facilities like BCJJC have a legal duty to ensure that juvenile offenders at the facility are reasonably safe and not the victim of sexual abuse by staff, or by other detainees. BCBBJ routinely breached this duty by failing to adequately protect detainees. This means that the Department of Juvenile Services can be held liable for negligence in a sex abuse civil lawsuit.

How Much Money You Can Get from BCJJC Sex Abuse Cases

The amount of money you can get from suing BCJJC or other places for sex abuse depends on a few things. Here are the main factors that will determine how much an individual case is potential worth.

Evidence: The victim’s testimony is enough to prove abuse, but if the abuse is also confirmed by other solid evidence it makes the case worth much more.

Severity of the Abuse: If the abuse was really bad or went on for a long time, your case could be worth more money than if it only happened once.

Your Attorney: Having a good lawyer can make a big difference in how much money you end up getting.

But there’s a limit to how much money you can get. In Maryland, there’s a maximum amount you can be awarded in these cases. If you’re suing the Department of Juvenile Services, the most you can get is $850,000.

Contact Us About BCJJC  Sex Abuse Lawsuits

If you are thinking about bringing a sexual abuse lawsuit against a juvenile detention facility like BCJJC, contact our sex abuse lawyers today for free consultation. Contact us online or call us at 800-553-8082


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