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Father Sues Treatment Center over Son's Release

Updated: Wednesday, May 1 2013, 08:04 PM EDT
COLUMBUS (Carol Luper/Ken Hines) -- A father is suing the treatment center that improperly released his son, who was subsequently arrested for multiple crimes he allegedly committed while on the streets.

Giovanni Farmer Sr. has filed a lawsuit against the Maryhaven treatment facility, months after employees released his 15-year-old son, Giovanni Jr., to the teen's aunt, who was not his legal custodian.

After his release from Maryhaven, Giovanni Jr. spent two months on his own, according to his father. The teen told Giovanni Sr. he stole a Cadillac during his time on the streets, as well as video game consoles and iPods.

Giovanni Jr. now faces charges of assault and receiving stolen property. He is currently being held at the Franklin Co. Juvenile Detention Center.

Giovanni Sr.'s attorney, Byron Potts, told ABC 6/FOX 28 Maryhaven operators deserve some of the blame for the teen's current legal situation.

"But for their negligence this never would have happened."

Giovanni Sr. said his son's arrest is especially disappointing given the progress he made at Maryhaven before his premature release.

"We had established a father-son relationship," he said. "Everything we did the last months is out the door now."

Giovanni Jr. is scheduled to appear in court on May 7. His father said he'll be in attendance to support his son.

Maryhaven officials responded to the announcement of the lawsuit's filing with the following statement:

“On March 10 we released a 15 year old adolescent patient for a visitation pass into the care of a noncustodial relative, and as soon as we discovered this we reported it to FCCS and the police as a missing person. The week thereafter we accepted the resignations of the two case aides who violated our policy and released this 15-year-old to a noncustodial relative.

"We are sorry that this matter occurred and continue to take steps to ensure it does not occur again. We have not been served with any litigation in this matter, but have confidence that the court system will reach a fair resolution of it."Father Sues Treatment Center over Son's Release

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