Suit: Social Worker Kept Mental Patient As Sex Slave

CHICAGO (CBS) — A 24-year-old Aurora man is suing the Illinois Department of Human Services and the social worker he said seduced and sexually abused him while he was at the Elgin Mental Health Center.

“She engaged in all kinds of various sexual misconduct. The graphic details are every sex act that you can imagine,” said attorney, Joe Cecala.

Cecala is the attorney for 24-year-old Ben Hurt, who said one of his social workers, 53-year-old Christy Lenhardt, sexually abused him at the Elgin Mental Health Center and basically kept him as a sex slave for the last three years.

“She’s accused of manipulating and seducing our client, repeatedly. It took her about four months until she actually had sex for the first time with him,” Cecala said.

“We have evidence of her perversion, both in her emails to the client, nude photos.”

The abuse, according to a lawsuit, took place at the Elgin Mental Health Center, where Hurt was a patient and Lenhardt was his trusted psychiatrist.

“I didn’t fully understand what I was getting into until I got into it,” Hurt said.

sex slave 1 Suit: Social Worker Kept Mental Patient As Sex Slave

Ben Hurt (right) with mother, D’Anntanette Lee (WBBM/Steve Miller)

Hurt had pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity in 2014 for battery against a police officer and that’s how he ended up at Elgin Mental Health Center. His mother said he should have been out in six to 12 months, but she accuses Lenhardt of making excuses to keep him at the facility.

“They assured me that they were going to help me with my child,” said Hurt’s mother, D’Anntanette Lee. “What they did to my son was wrong.”

Attorneys are also suing two other psychiatrists and the Center’s director who they say knew about the abuse.

Lenhardt was fired from the Center in July, after Hurt was finally released and he complained about the abuse.

sex slave 2 Suit: Social Worker Kept Mental Patient As Sex Slave

From left to right: Mother, D’Anntanette Lee; Ben Hurt, attorney S. Randolph Kretchmar and attorney Joe Cecala (WBBM/Steve Miller)

Hurt said now he just wants to move on.

Lenhardt has not been charged with a crime, but attorneys say the state police are investigating. CBS 2 was unable to reach Lenhardt. A spokesperson for the Elgin Mental Health Center declined to comment on the pending lawsuit.

 

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