Our legal team recently took on a teenage sexual abuse case against a residential treatment program for troubled teenage girls. Reflections Academy Inc., first opened in Sanders County in 2016, and has been sued three times in three months for allegedly misrepresenting the qualifications of its staff and employing a man who allegedly groomed several teanage girls and allegedly sexually abused at least one.
All three lawsuits against Reflections Academy Inc., were filed between October 5th and Decemeber 24th, 2018, in Sanders County District Court. The lawsuits were filed against Chaffin Pullan, and allege that Pullan sexually groomed the girls by showing them pornographic pictures on his cellphone and by engaging in inappropriate physical contact. The lawsuit our legal teamfiled alleges that Pullan sexually abused our client.
Reflections Academy Inc. is owned by Michele "Mickey" Manning, who is a major player in the for-profit teen treatment industry. Manning has worked with Pullan for more than 10 years. Our case accuses Reflections Academy of negligently hiring Pullan to work at its facilityand failing to protect the three girls by never reporting the alleged abuse to the proper authorities.
According to one girl who is not named in the lawsuit, Pullan was known to bring house girls to his home in Montana once they graduated Reflections’ treatment program. However, this allegedly occurred while Manning was working at Clearview Horizon, before Reflections opened.
Speaking anonymously to the Missoulian about her treatment at Clearview Horizon in 2014, the girl said she wasn’t ready to return home after she completed the program. Manning recommended that the girl live with “someone who could continue to help with her recovery,” and recommended that she stay with Chaffin Pullan.
The girl said her parents were informed that Pullan could provide additional support and had experience working with troubled teens. However, his name was not found in state records of people licensed to work with teens with mental health or behavioral issues.
The girl had the following to say about her time living with Pullan:
“I probably reached an all-time low mentally with my eating disorder. It was not a good environment for me. It was worse than going home. A lot of what my dad was understanding was Chaffin would take care of me and monitor that stuff. He didn't do any of that. He didn’t realize any of the behaviors I was doing. He didn't have any experience with eating disorders, so he didn't know what to look for.”
All of the lawsuits filed against Pullan claim he acted as the “owner” of the program. Attorneys representing Reflections say that Pullan was a volunteer until December 2017, when he was hired as an employee. The company also says Pullan never had an owner or manager position and that he was fired in August.
Reflections Academy Inc. had the following to say about the 3 lawsuits:
“[We] lack sufficient information to admit or deny whether Chaffin exposed Reflections students to pornography. However, after Chaffin was terminated, some girls at the school informed Manning that Chaffin had shown them inappropriate content, but Manning has no personal knowledge of that fact.”
Our firm’s managing partner, Zander Blewett had this to say about Reflections Academy Inc.’s lack of accountability:
“Now they’re saying it’s her fault because she was already 16 at the time. Our point is, well, for God’s sake, they’re a therapeutic boarding school.”In the wake of these allegations, the Montana legislature should take action to regulate the for-profit teen treatment industry. Montana Sex Abuse Attorney
At Hoyt & Blewett PLLC, we are committed to helping clients hold their abusers accountable. Our lawyers are here to answer your questions and guide you through the legal process to ensure that your rights and interests are fully protected. If you or someone you know has suffered sexual abuse, you should contact our law firm to find out how we can help you obtain the justice you deserve.
Call (406) 233-1302 to set up your free case evaluation with a personal injury lawyer in Montana.