2nd lawsuit filed claiming sexual abuse at Elgin Mental Health Center

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ELGIN, Ill. -- A second lawsuit was filed in federal court Wednesday by another former patient at the Elgin Mental Health Center claiming he, too, was sexually abused by a social worker there.

The charges follow similar ones from November that claim Benhadin Hurt, a 24-year-old Aurora man was kept at the center much longer than needed, so that the sexual abuse could continue with the man.

Hurt, who has schizophrenia, was sent to the Elgin Mental Health Center (EMHC) after pleading guilty by reason of insanity to assaulting a police officer.

Hurt, and now a second patient, allege a social worker forced them to have sex with her during their time there.

Two doctors have also been named in the first suit claiming they knew what was going on but looked the other way.

Mark Owens Jr, 27, was the second person who came forward. He was charged with trying to disarm a police officer then later diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and institutionalized at EMHC.

"That's when he was confronted with the idea, 'She can get me drugged to the gills so I better do what she says,'" Randy Kretchmar, attorney, said.

According to the lawsuit, Owens said in part that he had, "no choice but to comply with [her] sexual advances or be diagnosed and drugged into a zombie state...and she committed felonies by unlawfully touching him...engaging in sex acts...all while under her complete control."

The attorneys said the conduct is part of long time systemic abuse at the facility. The attorneys say the social worker was fired after the allegations came to light.

The attorneys also claim the same social worker was having sex with a convicted child molester there, Angelo Rotunno, and actually helped him escape and is still on the run.

The Illinois State Police already are investigating Hurt's claims, and attorneys said they should now widen their probe to include these new developments.

A spokesman for the EMCH parent agency, the Illinois Department of Human Servies, said they are aware of the suit and beyond that can't comment.

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