February 11, 2022

Child Sexual Abuse Lawsuit Filed Against Baptist Health

A lawsuit filed on February 9, 2022, against Baptist Health alleges sexual abuse by a child sexual predator within the Baptist healthcare system who was known by the hospital’s top administration to be a danger to children. In the lawsuit, Plaintiff Bojay Lewis of Little Rock alleges that Robin Hagaman, a convicted child molester who formerly served as Senior Vice-President of Baptist Health and as the chief administrator of the Baptist Rehabilitation Institute, sexually abused him as a boy in 1992.

At the center of this suit are multiple reports received by Baptist Health’s former President and CEO, Russell Harrington Jr., regarding Hagaman’s predatory behavior towards adolescent boys in the years leading up to Mr. Lewis’s abuse. The suit alleges that,despite these reports, Mr. Harrington allowed Hagaman continued access to Lewis and other children in the Baptist Rehabilitation Unit all the way up until Hagaman’s arrest in 1994.

The lawsuit includes details of previous sworn testimony by Mr. Harrington and internal documents suggesting Mr. Harrington’s awareness of Hagaman’s predatory tendencies years before Hagaman abused Bojay Lewis .

According to the lawsuit, Russell Harrington himself testified at a May 4, 1994, deposition that: “The officials of Comp Care, at the vice-presidential level, would come in and make site visits during the year, two or three times a year, and usually they would visit with me before they left. And one of the concerns that they expressed was that they had received, from some of their employees, a concern about activities of Mr. Hagaman, including being on the unit a lot and taking patients or former patients to movies, buying clothes – -those kind of activities. And, as they indicated to me, ‘The rumor is that it goes beyond that’.”

Bojay Lewis is represented by attorney Joshua Gillispie of Green and Gillispie, as well as Peter Janci of Crew Janci LLP. The lawsuit marks a significant step as the first case filed under the two-year “lookback window” law, enacted through the Justice for Vulnerable Victims of Sexual Abuse Act (JVVSAA) in 2021, aimed at seeking justice for victims and holding institutions accountable for their failure to protect vulnerable individuals.

Persons with information potentially relevant to this care are encouraged to contact Mr. Gillispie’s firm by calling (501) 244-0700.

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Josh Gillispie