A trial to determine if Valley Behavioral Health System in Barling was negligent in the alleged rape of a minor by another minor on an Area Agency on Aging van in 2016 is scheduled to take place in Sebastian County Circuit Court the first week of October.
The trial had previously been scheduled for early April. The amended scheduling order was approved by Circuit Judge James O. Cox on April 11.
Separate defendants Valley Behavioral Health Systems and Acadia HealthCare Co. have until June 18 to disclose an expert witness and until Aug. 2 to make their expert witness available for deposition, the scheduling order states. The deadline for discovery is Sept. 4.
Dale Greenlee is the plaintiff in the lawsuit against the two groups. David Corley and Paula Corley, guardians of the alleged juvenile rapist, are also defendants and filed a cross complaint.
An April 24 email from plaintiff’s attorney Chip Sexton of McCutchen & Sexton Law Firm in Fort Smith to Kim Dodson with Sebastian County Courts and the defendant’s attorney, Robert Honea, point out the legal difficulties in providing a video of the incident requested by Honea.
“Bob Honea made a request for a production of the video of the incident of GG (the unidentified minor in the above case.) The video involves a sexual act between a 14-year-old and a 9-year-old,” the email begins.
Sexton goes on to explain that a court order is required for the transfer of the video to not be in violation of federal law for distribution of “child pornography” or “laws prohibiting display of children’s private parts.”
For the negligence lawsuit filed in June 2016, McCutchen & Sexton is representing the father of the boy who was allegedly raped on the Area Agency on Aging van by a 14-year-old male minor being treated at Valley Behavioral Health.
As noted in a previous Times Record report about the case, among 18 “requests for admission” that the plaintiff’s lawsuit seeks is that Valley Behavioral Health knew the male teen “had serious mental health issues that caused him to desire to rape, sexually abuse and physically harm others.”
Another issue at hand has been the driver of the van being a relative of the teen. The Area Agency on Aging van’s driver, Jordan Byrd, was 71 at the time the incident.
According to the Franklin County Circuit Clerk in Charleston, Byrd pleaded guilty in July to endangering the welfare of a minor, a Class D felony, and was sentenced to 60 months probation. Byrd also received 12 months probation for the misdemeanor charge of child maltreatment because he was a mandated reporter who failed to report the alleged rape. Byrd was fined $850 for the crimes and $150 in court costs.