Parents of victim sue Walker and Bourne's estate
The family of the minor girl involved in the Dr. Andrew Bourne and Joe Walker case has filed a civil suit against Bourne's estate and Walker, according to Santa Barbara attorney Chris Kroes, who represents the minor’s family.
The complaint was filed on March 14, he said Tuesday, and is expected to be served to "at any time", he said.
The complaint includes allegations of sexual battery, serious emotional distress, that the minor was the victim of two men who made promises to take care of her long term without any intention of doing so, that the minor was the victim of a prolonged conspiracy between the two men, and more.
“Be reason of these wrongful acts of defendants, Walker and Bourne, Jane Doe and plaintiff parents sustained great fright, shock, (and) emotional and nervous distress,” the complaint concludes. “As a result, plaintiff parents, father Doe and mother Doe, have been deprived of the society of their daughter and have, and will continue to incur, medical and psychological care for their daughter.”
The complaint says any “co-conspirators” that might have aided and abetted Bourne and/or Walker might also be included in the case, including partners, agent, servants, (and) employers.” Krues did say that Bourne’s employer, Mammoth Hospital, is not named in the complaint.
The complaint does include a complaint against Dr. Bourne alone, stating that as a physician, he was a “mandated reporter” with the legal duty to report any suspected abuse of a minor to authorities.
Kroes said a civil case has a much lower threshold of proof than a criminal case. A criminal case must prove “beyond the shadow of a doubt” that the alleged crimes did occur, for it to be prosecuted by a district attorney. But a civil case, such as the one filed by the minor’s parents, needs to show “a preponderance of evidence” that the alleged crimes occurred and that damages were/are incurred.
The complaint seeks damages for out-of pocket damages, for the costs of the civil suit, for reasonable attorney fees, for punitive damages and “for such other and further relief as the court may deem appropriate.” Kroes said a trial will likely occur within 12 to 18 months.
He said information regarding Dr. Bourne’s role in the situation is available to the attorneys and court, even though the criminal case against Dr. Bourne was dropped after his suicide.
"This has been devastating," he said. "It's been devastating to the family, beyond what anyone can imagine," he said.