Lawsuit names 4 DHR employees

BY BRUCE BRANUM

The Greenville Standard

 

A lawsuit recently filed with the Butler County Circuit Clerk alleges four employees and several fictitious defendants of the Department of Human Resources (DRH) in Butler County for negligence.

Nancy Buckner, Jennifer Langford, Julie Leverett and Alicia Sexton were named in the suit and are accused of negligence for ignoring signs of repeated abuse in a case involving two children who were sexually abused in December 2016.

The Hays Firm, LLC and The Law Office of Rob Riddle filed the suit on behalf of Angeline Weaver and are asking for a jury trial.

Part of the complaint states, “Defendants Nancy, Buckner Jennifer Langford, Julie Leverett, Alicia Sexton and one or more of the fictitious defendants listed and described hereinabove negligently, wantonly, or willfully harmed (minors identified by initials) by violating appropriated checklists, guidelines, DHR rules, statutes, regulations or court orders requiring them to monitor and ensure that (minors identified by initials) safety and well being were being met.”

The parents, Jonathan Smith, 35, and Michelle Smith, 32, who resided in the Greenmore community, were arrested in December 2016 after Sheriff Deputies were dispatched to their residence in reference to a medical emergency. They were initially indicted on the charges of attempted murder, aggravated child abuse, sexual torture, domestic violence, and sexual abuse of a child under the age of 12 years.

Jonathan Smith pleaded guilty to sexual torture on Dec. 11, 2018 and has been sent to prison. The trial for Michelle Smith is set for June 2019.

Former Butler County Sheriff Kenny Harden said in December 2016 it was one of the worst cases he had ever seen.

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