A former resident of the Green Hill School told KIRO 7 he was repeatedly raped for years by a counselor at thejuvenile detention facility in Chehalis, which houses both medium security and maximum security inmates.
The now-21-year-old Seattle man is suing the state of Washington and the Department of Social and Health Services, which runs Green Hill, alleging rampant sexual abuse there.
In 2016, Green Hill counselor Erin Stiebritz, also known as Erin Snodgrass, was arrested and later pleaded guilty to custodial sexual misconduct.
She was sentenced to two weeks behind bars.
Stiebritz “was having sex with kids in the culture room, in front of me,” the Seattle man, identified as C.O’H. in court documents, told KIRO 7.
C.O’H recently filed a complaint in King County Superior Court. KIRO 7 is not identifying him because he’s an alleged victim of sexual assault.
He said he saw Stiebritz sexually assault multiple juvenile residents at Green Hill, including his roommate.
C.O’H. also claims Green Hill counselor Katherine Kimbrel, known as Kat, raped him for nearly two years, beginning when he was 16. He said she raped him six to seven times a month.
“The administrators had knowledge of it, and didn’t act on it,” C.O’H told KIRO 7.
When KIRO 7 asked if the alleged sexual abuse was a secret, the man said, “No, the staff would pull me aside and say, ‘We’re starting to notice this behavior,’ and they wouldn’t do anything about it.”
Marybeth Queral and Lori Nesmith are also named as defendants.
Queral was superintendent of Green Hill at the time of the alleged abuse and has since been promoted to assistant secretary of the DSHS’s Rehabilitation Administration.
Nesmith was a Green Hill supervisor when C.O’H was a resident. She is now the Green Hill School’s associate superintendent.
“This got in the way of him being rehabilitated," C.O'H.'s attorney Tim Tesh said Thursday of the alleged sexual abuse.
"It got in the way of him growing up as a man."
“He’s a victim, just like a female 16-year old would be if she were victimized in a similar fashion,” Tesh said.
C.O’H. believes there’s a double standard when it comes to teenage male victims of sexual abuse.
“If this was Echo Glen and this was a 16-year old girl who was sexually abused over the course of years by two male counselors, I feel like they take those kinds of cases way more seriously,” he said.
C.O’H. said he now feels “damaged.”
When asked to comment on C.O’H’s legal complaint, DSHS media relations manager Chris Wright released the following statement:
"DSHS does not comment on pending litigation, but the agency is committed to compliance with the standards set forth in the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA).
Our staff members are trained on compliance, and youth are provided information on PREA.
"Tesh, however, claims his client tried many times to make a PREA complaint with Green Hill staff members and supervisors, but was denied.
“It’s pretty clear that there’s evidence that staff members that were fairly high up in the supervisory chain were either aware that this was going on or certainly aware of complaints, and that there was not adequate investigation of numerous complaints of sexual activity going on at Green Hill,” he said.
C.O’H. told KIRO 7 that there are signs posted all over Green Hill advertising a “1-800 hotline number you can call anytime you want if you’re sexually abused, and when I tried to exercise this so-called right, I was denied.”
Wright told KIRO 7 that Kimbrel and Stiebritz are no longer employed by the agency.
So far, Tesh said, there is no dollar amount attached to the newly filed complaint because his client’s primary goal is “to shine a spotlight on what’s been going on at Green Hill” and bring change.
Tesh said at least one other former Green Hill resident has come forward with similar allegations against a third Green Hill staffer.
“I think more victims will come forward,” Tesh said.
More news from KIRO 7
- Police say 3 killed in violent crash caused by DUI suspect
- Woman jailed for Facebook post criticizing ex-husband, a deputy sheriff in Georgia
- Marysville mom will be deported, separated from three daughters
- With family returning to Mexico, man wants northwest judge to deport him
- Bremerton woman fights off man trying to steal truck with child inside
© 2018 Cox Media Group.