Father Sues Over Fire Station Molestation

The firefighter-father of a 4-year-old boy who was allegedly molested inside a New Jersey fire station last year has filed suit against the accused molester, his parents, the borough, and the fire department.

Darius Levine, a developmentally challenged 19 year old, stands charged with molesting the young boy identified in court pleadings as “GP”. The incident took place on June 13, 2013 inside the borough of Leonia’s fire station where Levine had been allowed to frequent and hoped one day to serve.

The allegation led the borough to close the fire station, prompting a suit by the fire department. The case was settled and new policies were implemented to give the borough greater control over the fire department.

The lawsuit names Levine’s adoptive parents and alleges they “knew and/or should have known of the necessity to control their child”; “had actual knowledge and/or a reasonable reason to know of the likelihood of their child, Defendant, DARIUS LEVINE … to engage in sexually abusive behavior against persons including but not limited to Plaintiff, G.P.”; and “breached their duty and failed to take reasonable steps to prevent and/or warn and/or protect Plaintiffs from the harm.”

As for the the borough and the fire department, the complaint alleges both:

  • “had a duty to properly and reasonably implement proper policies, procedures and/or training regarding invitees of the firehouse.”
  • “breached their duty to reasonable and properly operate and/or control and/or supervise and/or maintain and/or provide security at the firehouse located at 1 Boro Place in Leonia, New Jersey, by allowing a dangerous and palpably unreasonable condition to exist on said premises, namely, by allowing Defendant, DARIUS LEVINE … to remain on the property unsupervised.”
  • “breached their duty to properly screen, hire, train, retain and/or supervise their agents, servants and/or employees, which breach led to their agents, servants and/or employees allowing Defendant, DARIUS LEVINE … to remain on the property unsupervised, which, inter alia, created a dangerous and palpably unreasonable condition.”
  • “breached their duty to properly and reasonably implement proper policies, procedures and/or training regarding invitees of the firehouse, which breach led to their agents, servants and/or employees allowing Defendant, DARIUS LEVINE … to remain on the property unsupervised, which, inter alia, created a dangerous and palpably unreasonable condition.”
  • “had actual knowledge and/or a reasonable reason to know of the likelihood of Defendant, DARIUS LEVINE and/or “JOHN DOE 1-1 O” to engage in sexually abusive behavior against persons including but not limited to Plaintiff, G.P., an infant by his Father and Guardian ad Litem, C.P.”
  • “had a duty to take reasonable steps to prevent and/or warn and/or protect Plaintiffs from the harm.”
  • “breached their duty and failed to take reasonable steps to prevent and/or warn and/or protect Plaintiffs from the harm.”

The complaint also alleges that CP, GP’s father who was a Leonia firefighter, suffered retaliation after reporting the incident and was terminated from the department.

Here is a copy of the complaint:  GP v Levine

Here is news coverage of the suit.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.
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