North Carolina will pay $ 1 million to three foster children in former Union County, including a man who was chained to a pouch at the age of 11 and had a dead chicken around his neck.
Foster parents, including Wanda Larson, who led the Child Abuse Investigation Team at the Union County Social Welfare Department, were arrested. Larson’s longtime male partner, Dorian Harper, was a nurse in the current Atrium Health emergency room at the time and was in prison for five years. According to public records, Larson was found guilty of the relevant plea, but was not imprisoned.
In all, three children caring for the couple will receive the money, which will be paid to the protection trust by the NC Industry Commission, said Jay Trech, a lawyer in the Durham region who helped represent the victims. Told. All three live in North Carolina and are between the ages of 19 and 22.
Veteran Union County Sheriff Edicacy, whose office investigated the case, said it remained “one of the saddest things we’ve ever been involved with,” especially given the professional responsibilities of the adults involved. I did.
“That’s bad, as everyone says, it’s just a nasty and terrible abuse of kids … (and) the DSS supervisor was ruined by all of it,” Kathy told observers Thursday. It was. “It doesn’t make sense.”
Trehy said both Larson and Harper usually chose a profession that attracted “people who really want to help.”
“Probably early on, they had the right and right motives, but after years of foster care, they both became absolute monsters,” he says. I did.
On Thursday, Larson and Harper were not asked to comment by either the phone number or email address linked to them in public records.
The 2013 incident was a hot topic nationwide. The 2019 proceedings filed on behalf of the boy were identified as “JG” in court documents and, under the care of Larson and Harper, years of physical and potential sexual abuse, He claimed neglect and even attacks of torture on children.
According to the complaint, Harper squeezed the children’s fingers with pliers, burned them with heat rays, and stabbed them with a hypodermic needle. He also tortured JG to get false confessions about what he did not do.
He was released from prison in February 2020 after acknowledging a felony of child abuse in connection with the dead chicken case in March 2015.
“His crimes are so numerous and there are so many cases of ill-treatment and torture, which means torture, sadistic torture, so as far as I am concerned, he cannot take enough time,” said Trech. It was.
Meanwhile, Larson, a former Union County foster parent this year, used her position at Union County DSS to curb, manipulate, and misdirect multiple abuse investigations into her household. According to Trehy, these investigations “should have discovered what was happening at home.”
Larson also alleged that JG’s born mother, who once lived in Charlotte, undermined her efforts to reunite with her son.
Larson helped thwart the investigation when an assistant teacher in Union County expressed concern in 2011 that one of her children at home might have been sexually abused, and then Larson. I started homeschooling my kids to avoid further scrutiny.
In 2015, she pleaded guilty to the deliberate failure to carry out her official duties. Other charges, including misdemeanor child abuse, animal cruelty, and imprisonment, were dismissed.
According to the complaint, JG was taken care of by the couple in 2006 after Gaston County DSS took him “unnecessarily and negligently” from the care of his mother. He was four at the time.
Seven years later, the boy was found trembling with a dead chicken tied to his neck at temperatures in his mid-twenties by a Union County Sheriff’s adjutant. He was chained to the pouch with his ankles and wore only a T-shirt and jeans.
In the aftermath, five children aged 8-14 were taken out of the house. Four people were adopted by Larson, including two who received state money.
All future payments result from a lawsuit against Gaston and Union County DSS offices that put JG and his two children in jeopardy and did not properly investigate reports of Larson and Harper’s abuse of them. Resolve the claim.
He also investigated households in the past and blocked proceedings against the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and the DSS offices in Cabarrus and Mecklenburg counties, as Trehy described them as Larson’s “manipulation.” abuse.
The Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees the state-wide DSS office, declined to comment on Thursday’s settlement.
Trehy said two other abused children taken from Larson and Harper’s homes in 2013 have not been identified and may not be aware of possible charges to the state. I am.
“I’m still looking for them,” he said.