HARRIS COUNTY, Texas - A Houston-area woman and her teenage daughter have filed a lawsuit against a major security service and property management company after the girl was sexually assaulted at a Kingwood shopping center in December 2014.
A jury trial is now underway at the Harris County Civil Courthouse. The family is asking for at least $1 million.
Houston police arrested Troy Anthony Whitfield for the crime. He remains in jail as he awaits the criminal trial.
Whitfield was working for Allied Barton as a security guard at Kings Harbor in Kingwood when he found the then 16-year-old victim and her boyfriend making out in a car at the top of a parking garage, authorities said.
The girl said Whitfield made her get out of the car and took her to a maintenance closet. She said he threatened to charge her with a sex crime, but that "he wouldn't be able to charge her if she had something on him," according to authorities.
The teen said she didn't understand what Whitfield meant, but said he then ordered her to take off her clothes and sexually assaulted her.
The victim and her mother are suing the security company, Allied Barton and Midway Companies which owns and operates Kings Harbor.
"There are a number of red flags in his background that Allied Barton chose not to investigate, not to look at and put him in the position," said attorney Jason Itkin, who represents the family.
Itkin said there were also a series of complaints about Whitfield's behavior at Kings Harbor prior to his alleged attack on the teen.
"Midway had the right to say, 'this guy is creepy send him off our property,' and they never exercised that right despite some of the red flags that were raised," Itkin said.
Neither Allied Barton or Midway would comment, citing the current litigation.
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