Suits: Teens sexually assaulted, beaten at SC juvenile center

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South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice evaluation center in Columbia, SC. (Photo: WOLO)

COLUMBIA, SC (AP) — Two South Carolina lawsuits allege that four teenage girls were sexually assaulted and another beaten at a state juvenile facility last December.

The suits allege the incidents occurred during a riot at the South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice evaluation center in Columbia.

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The State newspaper reports allegations that male youths confined at the center broke out of their unit during a group fight among the female teens and sexually assaulted them.

The suits say not enough staff members were on site and the state had a duty to keep the youths safe.

A department spokesperson declined to comment to the newspaper Wednesday.