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CYFD settles suit over sexually abused adopted child

July 27, 2017 GMT

The state Children, Youth and Families Department has agreed to pay an undisclosed amount to settle a lawsuit brought by a Washington state family who alleged the state agency failed to properly screen a Clovis-area foster couple accused of raping some of the children in their care, including a boy the couple later adopted.

“I can’t disclose the amount of the settlement but the facts of the case were horrific,” the family’s attorney, Kate Ferlic of Santa Fe said Tuesday after the case was settled. “This poor boy was systemically abused sexually for the duration of his custody with the state. It’s tragic, and the state did the right thing by settling this case.”

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The parents claimed in their lawsuit that the state agency knew or should have known about the child’s abuse and they sought compensation from the state for the damages he suffered in hopes of securing a better future for him.

Children, Youth and Families Department spokesman Henry Varela referred questions about the settlement to the state Risk Management Division. A spokesman there could not be reached late Tuesday.

The New Mexican is not identifying the adoptive parents in order to avoid identifying the child.

The people accused of abusing the boy are Richard L. Glascoe and his ex-wife, Jodi L. Kirkpatrick, formerly of Clovis.

Glascoe, a former Curry County jail guard, was convicted in 2007 of raping three 7-year-old girls and sentenced to 25 years in prison.

In 2012, the lawsuit says, the boy adopted by the Washington couple began “acting out,” displaying concerning behaviors and commenting on things that had happened when he lived in the Glascoe home. The boy, who is now 17, was 12 when he disclosed the abuse, Ferlic said.

Kirkpatrick — who divorced Glascoe around the time he was convicted of raping the three girls — was working as a junior high school teacher in Artesia in 2012 when she was charged with five counts of child rape. Online court records show that those charges, some of which were related to Kirkpatrick’s alleged abuse of the Washington couple’s son, were dismissed by the prosecutor in September. The dismissal notice states: “A co-defendant has accepted accountability. Criminal charges may be re-filed at a later time.”

Glascoe pleaded no contest to charges related to the boy and was sentenced to 15 additional years in prison, according to Ferlic, but was allowed to serve those concurrently with his existing 25-year sentence.

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In their complaint filed in state District Court in 2014, the boy’s adoptive parents claimed the boy suffered heinous abuse during three periods he spent with the foster couple between 2003 and 2006 when the child was between the ages of 3 and 6 years old.

Among the allegations were that the foster couple had handcuffed the boy, threatened him with a gun, forced him to watch them have sex, sexually and physically assaulted him and forced him to witness their sexual assault of other children of both sexes, including a baby.

The adoptive mother told The New Mexican in 2014 that the state agency expressly told the adoptive parents that the boy they adopted in 2007, when he was 7 years old, had not been sexually abused.

Contact Phaedra Haywood at 505-986-3068 or phaywood@sfnewmexican.com. Follow her on Twitter at @phaedraann.