SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — A young girl raped by a child pornography suspect sued the federal government for $110 million Friday, claiming the U.S. Probation Office failed to properly monitor the man who assaulted her and stabbed her mother to death.
A lawyer representing David Renz’s victim said in court papers the probation office failed to follow its own policies for monitoring a criminal defendant released with an electronic ankle bracelet in the months before last year’s attack.
The suit claims that failure allowed Renz to rape the 10-year-old suburban Syracuse girl and kill her mother. It was filed in the name of the girl’s court-appointed guardian, Sheila Ben.
According to court papers, the probation office’s failure to monitor Renz left the girl with “severe and permanent disabling injuries,” both mentally and physically, and “emotionally and psychologically scarred.”
Renz pleaded guilty in state court to murder and rape and is awaiting sentencing. He was sentenced last month to 30 years in prison on the federal child pornography charges.
Matthew Brown, the chief probation officer in Syracuse, declined to comment.
The lawsuit says Renz tampered with the bracelet 46 times in the nine weeks before the March 14, 2013, attack and the probation office was unaware of 36 of the alerts because the monitor’s vendor had suggested two years earlier that it stop sending notifications for any tamper alert that lasted less than five minutes.
The probation office did not properly respond to the other 10 alerts, which did last longer than five minutes, the lawsuit says.
On the night of the murder, Renz dismantled the bracelet, reassembled it, and left it on a bed in his mother’s home before going to a mall. Authorities said he entered the victims’ car armed with what appeared to be a handgun, bound the mother, then sexually assaulted the girl in the back seat while parked in a remote area of the mall parking lot.
Renz then ordered the mother to drive to another location and the girl escaped while he attacked her mother, investigators said. The girl was rescued by a passer-by, but she watched her mother, covered in blood, get out of the car, walk along a road and collapse from stab wounds, according to the lawsuit.