Class-action lawsuit alleging sex abuse at New Hampshire’s youth detention center tossed, individual claims stand

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FILE – This Jan. 28, 2020, file photo shows the Sununu Youth Services Center in Manchester, N.H. Documents obtained by The Associated Press show a New Hampshire man now charged with holding down a teenage boy during a rape at the youth detention center had been fired years earlier. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A judge has dismissed a class-action lawsuit alleging decades of abuse at New Hampshire’s youth detention center, but he left the door open for individual claims against the state.

Lead plaintiff David Meehan sued the Sununu Youth Services Center in January 2020 alleging that he endured near daily beatings and rapes in the late 1990s at what was then called the Youth Development Center. His attorney represents more than 300 men and women who say they were abused by 150 staffers from 1960 to 2019, but a judge ruled Wednesday that a single class action is “too unwieldy” given the nature of the allegations.

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