Nassau police are investigating a family's claims that their 13 year old emotionally disturbed son was sexually assaulted by his older roommate at MercyFirst, a Syosset center for troubled boys.  Complicating the case is the language of state child welfare law, which prevents state agencies from investigating so-called child abuse if the teens were acquaintances rather than family members.

The couple claiming their son was sexually victimized twice by his older roommate has taken the first step in filing a federal lawsuit against the home.  The suit, which is expected to be filed in Federal Court in Central Islip, will claim that the home failed to protect the boy's civil rights while he was a resident there this year.  The suit will also seek unspecified damages for emotional distress.

(New York)