The father of a 13-year-old girl has filed a lawsuit against an Aurora psychiatric facility after his daughter was sexually assaulted by an 18-year-old man in the bathroom at the Aurora Public Library.
The lawsuit claims that both 18-year-old Cody Pomrenke and the 13-year-old girl were under the care of the Northern Illinois Academy when they went on a field trip to the Aurora Public Library on April 15. The two were unsupervised when Pomrenke lured the girl into the bathroom and sexually assaulted her.
The suit argues that the academy officials knew or should have known that Pomrenke was grooming the girl and would try to have sex with her.
“The school knew this process was going on,” said Dan Kirschner, attorney for the 13-year-old and her family. “The school had actually taken note of it and warned the defendant to stay away from her. But it doesn’t help when they put them together in a public place out of supervision.”
“Jane Doe did not consent to sexual intercourse with Cody Pomrenke, and by virtue of her age did not have the legal capacity to consent to sexual intercourse,” read part of the lawsuit. “On and before April 15, 2019, a special relationship existed between NIA and Cody Pomrenke which imposed a duty on NIA to control Cody Pomrenke’s conduct as to prevent him from causing physical harm to the minor-plaintiff, Jane Doe.”
The lawsuit also claims that the academy should have had a policy where staff had to keep Pomrenke separated from the girls at all times.
Aurora Public Library Executive Director Michaela Haberkern said the field trip wasn’t scheduled at the library and they first heard about the incident after police contacted them for video footage outside the bathroom.
“We are completely horrified,” Haberkern said. “I feel so bad for the girl involved and my heart goes out to her and her family.
The lawsuit seeks an unspecified amount of damages.