Mom: Son molested, placed in solitary confinement while in juven - WSMV Channel 4

Mom: Son molested, placed in solitary confinement while in juvenile detention

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FRANKLIN, TN (WSMV) -

The mother of a Williamson County teen says her son was molested and then locked up in solitary confinement for weeks.

That family says a judge is partially to blame, and they want her fired.

Betty, who does not want her last names used, said what happened to her son J.H. at the Williamson County Detention Center has caused psychological damage that cannot be repaired.

She said she remembers being ordered by Judge Sharon Guffee to bring her son back to the center, after he was released briefly for a medical procedure.

“He just begged me not take him, just begged me. I didn't have a choice,” Betty said.

J.H. suffers Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections, or P.A.N.D.A.S., a disease of the brain that causes behavioral problems.

Betty said a fight with his brother landed him in juvenile detention in May 2013.

As she desperately sought help for her son, he continued to act up, and ended up back in the center.

Betty said her son was in solitary confinement for five weeks straight.

“I remember concrete. The floors were concrete. The walls, the bed, the toilet. There were cameras in there that watched me use the bathroom. It was so uncomfortable,” J.H. said.

J.H. would speak to Channel 4 as long as we didn't show his face.

“I remember feeling angry at the world because I didn't feel like I deserved what I got. I felt like it was unfair punishment to put someone alone like that for so long,” J.H. said.

And then in December the worst happened. Betty said J.H. was molested by a guard.

“He reached over to hug me and he was just sobbing, and they just pulled him off of me and they walked him back,” Betty said.

Betty said when J.H. tried telling the judge, she implied he was lying.

The lawsuit says in the courtroom, Guffee told J.H. that he made some serious allegations, and the only thing worse than that would be “false” allegations.

“He lost everything. We lost everything and we are just trying to pick up the pieces for them,” Betty said.

After J.H. was released, Betty said his behavior got worse.

“For the longest time I've blocked the memories I had of Williamson County just so I can survive,” J.H. said.

One night he stole his mother's car.

J.H. said he was so scared of authority that when an officers approached him, he led them on a high-speed chase and caused a crash in Franklin.

The family wants Williamson County to pay for J.H.'s treatment, get the judge off the bench, and ban solitary confinement for teens.

Channel 4 reached out to the Williamson County juvenile court for comment. Director Zannie Martin sent us this statement:

I am sure you can understand that we cannot comment on pending litigation, but the County is vigorously defending this case and will continue to do so.  The well-being and safety of the children in our care is our highest priority.

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