Man sues DCFS over abuse he suffered as child
August 5, 2005
BY RUMMANA HUSSAIN Staff Reporter
A 30-year-old Northwest Side man filed a lawsuit against the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services on Thursday for failing to investigate the sexual abuse he endured as a child at the hands of a former high-ranking DCFS official who was his foster father.
Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, who provided psychological and adoptive counseling services for DCFS for nearly two decades, began serving a 24-year prison sentence in January 2004 for molesting Robert Pitawanakwat after he was captured in Tunisia. Bourguignon, on the lam since 1992 when he failed to show up for a court appearance in Cook County, was convicted in absentia in 1993.
Pitawanakwat is seeking in excess of $10 million for ongoing symptoms of mental illness and depression resulting from the assaults. He is also asking DCFS to ensure that wards of the state are placed in safe homes, according to the lawsuit, which names Bourguignon, 62, and DCFS director Bryan Samuels.