Thursday, November 20, 2014

Civil suit filed against day care after acquittal in child abuse case

By DOUG CARDER, Herald Senior Writer | 3/29/2013

Attorneys representing the reported victim of an alleged sexual assault have filed a civil lawsuit seeking damages against Yvonne Scrutchfield and her former day care business. Yvonne Scrutchfield Day Care Home, 607 N. Cedar St., was the location Scrutchfield’s husband, Eric Scrutchfield, was accused of assaulting a then-4-year-old girl in spring 2011.

A Franklin County jury March 8 found Eric Scrutchfield not guilty of rape and lewd and lascivious behavior in connection with the alleged assault.

Attorneys representing the reported victim of an alleged sexual assault have filed a civil lawsuit seeking damages against Yvonne Scrutchfield and her former day care business. Yvonne Scrutchfield Day Care Home, 607 N. Cedar St., was the location Scrutchfield’s husband, Eric Scrutchfield, was accused of assaulting a then-4-year-old girl in spring 2011.

A Franklin County jury March 8 found Eric Scrutchfield not guilty of rape and lewd and lascivious behavior in connection with the alleged assault.

The jury of six men and six women, however, could not reach a verdict on the other two charges in connection with the case — aggravated indecent liberties with a child and aggravated criminal sodomy — after 23 1/2 hours of deliberation. Scrutchfield could be retried on those two counts if prosecutors seek a new criminal trial. The jury was split 11-1 in favor of acquittal on those two counts, according to reports.

Scrutchfield maintained throughout the investigation and criminal trial that he was not guilty and said no such assault ever took place.

Attorneys Ryan T. Merrigan of Lenexa and Brant McCoy of Olathe filed a civil suit this week on behalf of the girl and her family, seeking an unspecified monetary amount in damages against the day care and its owner. The petition, filed Monday in Franklin County District Court, also asks for a jury trial.

District Judge Eric W. Godderz, who presided over the criminal trial, was listed as the judge for the civil case.

A hearing date has not been set in the case.

Attorneys Merrigan and McCoy did not return phone calls Thursday and Friday, and Yvonne Scrutchfield could not be reached for comment.

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