The mother of a mentally disabled woman claims a Southern California nonprofit was negligent in hiring a job coach who would eventually plead no contest to molesting her daughter.
Rosie Clinton said a moment in October 2010 changed the course of her daughter's life forever.
"This incident changed her whole persona," Clinton said of her now 43-year-old daughter, who four years ago had been getting services through PathPoint, Inc, a Santa Barbara-based nonprofit agency specializing in helping disabled adults assimilate to ordinary life.
Clinton said the job coach assigned to her daughter was Olayinka Akinsowon, that he was supposed to help her to become more independent.
Instead, Clinton said her daughter regressed from the mind of a 12-year-old to the mind of an 8-year-old, losing all independence.
"She was able to shop, able to do anything, go to the movies," Clinton said. "But she started urinating the bed, she began to have nightmares. And I began to go in her room and she would attack me. It wasn't like her at all."
Surveillance video from the Best Buy store in Northridge shows Akinsowon behind Clinton's daughter rocking back and forth. Akinsowon would later plead no contest to molesting her, admitting he caressed her breasts and put his hands into her pants.
A Best Buy employee noticed the assault and called police.
Since then, Clinton has been engaged in a lawsuit claiming negligent hiring among other things against PathPoint. Attorney Vince Finaldi who represents the Clintons said the employee swore under oath that he warned PathPoint of a prior sexual misconduct allegation.
Pathpoint's attorney Tom Beach said the allegation that PathPoint knew in advance of a prior record for Akinsowon is a lie. He said the company reached out to three prior employers, one of which responded with detailed information.
He also said PathPoint did a criminal-background check with the Department of Justice that came back clear. He believes the company did everything it could to properly vet the employee.
"But even the best psychiatrists and psychologists today will tell you there is no litmus test to ID someone who could be inappropriate in the future," Beach said. "The best they can do is the Department of Justice research and employment references."
Clinton said the hardest part for her is believing her daughter can never again reach the ability to be independent.
"Who was protecting my child?" she said. "Nobody. And I was the last one to know."
Akinsowon served more than a year in prison and is currently listed as a sex offender on the Megan's Law website.