Wednesday, February 21, 2018
News Roundup

Mother of woman raped at Bloomingdale library sues attacker's family

TAMPA — The mother of the young woman left severely disabled after a 2008 sexual attack outside the Bloomingdale Regional Public Library is suing the mother and grandmother of the rapist.

Kendrick Morris, 20, is serving a 65-year prison sentence for what he did the night of April 24, 2008, when he was 16.

His victim was an 18-year-old East Bay High School senior, who pulled up to a book drop as she spoke on a cell phone, noting a "weird guy" sitting on a bench. The call ended with a scream.

The young woman was discovered in a dark field, at the end of a blood trail, eye socket and nose fractured, and her oxygen-deprived brain swelling. Now 22, she can't function alone.

Her family continues to participate in fundraisers to help with the extensive medical costs.

Last November, represented by attorney Gene Odom, the mother filed a lawsuit against the people who designed and built the library. The suit described the after-hours book drop and surroundings as "inherently dangerous." That case remains open.

On Monday, again represented by Odom, the young woman's mother filed suit against Lisa and Lucina Stevens, Morris' mother and grandmother, alleging "negligent supervision."

The suit says Morris had a juvenile arrest record, a history of violent and abusive behavior and was under restrictions by the Department of Juvenile Justice, but that Morris' guardians failed to supervise him and allowed him to violate curfew and restrictions.

The suit says he was in violation the night of the rape, and that his guardians should have known he "presented a foreseeable risk to the general public."

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