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Family of Sexual Abuse Victim Files Suit Against Special Olympics

It follows claims by a wheelchair bound teen who says he was molested by a volunteer.

The family says failure to do a background check, the lack of special screenings and an overnight trip left their disabled son vulnerable.

The Special Olympics gives kids with special needs a chance to shine, yet one family says the Special Olympics introduced their son to a sexual predator.

Now, 64-year-old George Tommy Toole is serving 30 years in prison for three counts of sexual battery on a 14-year-old cerebral palsy patient. The lawsuit claims it happened while on a Special Olympics trip to Tampa.

"Based on the information he provided to Special Olympics parents trusted him that wasn't true their little boy was abused by that man,” explains the family’s attorney Dean Lebeouf.

In April of 2001, Toole completed a volunteer registration form providing his date of birth, drivers license number and two references.

The victim's family charges the failure to properly screen volunteers through background checks, and psychological screenings led to their son's sexual assault.

Child advocates say child protection is a shared responsibility.

“Parents need to be more assertive and make sure background checks are done. Blind faith and blind trust not enough,” comments Jack Levin, President of Advocacy Resources.

At this point we are unable to respond to the allegations because we haven't seen the lawsuit.

The lawsuit also suggests there may be another victim. At the last minute the family bowed out of Thursday’s press conference, attorneys tell WCTV since their son has been through so much already they wanted to protect him.


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