Posted on Jun 17, 2024

Teddy bear next to books and gavelSACHSE, Texas – A North Texas mother has filed a lawsuit against By the Barnyard Gate in Sachse, claiming that her 4-year-old son was sexually abused by a caregiver at the private school in January 2023. Emily Markley, the boy’s mother, took immediate action upon learning of the abuse, contacting the school after her son revealed that he had been inappropriately touched by Efrain Jesus Bonilla, a caregiver at the facility.

Markley's fears were confirmed upon reviewing surveillance footage with the school's management. The lawsuit shares that video footage showed Bonilla sitting next to the napping child, rubbing his hands together to warm them up, and lifting a blanket that was covering the young boy. The lawsuit further details that Bonilla blocked the camera’s view while he put his hands down the front of the child’s pants and underwear to touch the child’s genitals. The sexual abuse reportedly ceased when another caregiver entered the classroom. Despite this evidence, By the Barnyard Gate did not adhere to state childcare laws and allowed Bonilla to continue working around children, failing to report the incident to the proper authorities, according to the lawsuit.

To see the filed complaint, click here.

A Texas Mother Shares Her Heartbreak About Her Son’s Abuse

Markley expressed her anguish and determination to seek justice, stating, " I am heartbroken over the abuse that my child experienced at By the Barnyard Gate and furious that the school allowed it to happen to him. My son’s innocence should have been protected at this school. I am filing this lawsuit and speaking up for what is right to shield my child and other children in our community."

After the school failed to act, the child’s mother reported the sexual abuse to local police and the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. An independent investigation by the state agency verified Markley’s claims, leading to Bonilla's termination and substantiating the claims of sexual abuse. Bonilla is now facing criminal charges.

Russell Button, a child injury attorney at The Button Law Firm representing Markley, commented on the case, saying, “Sexual abuse is a horrific crime with lifelong psychological impacts to victims, including the young child in this case. This incident and the response of By the Barnyard Gate are deeply disturbing. The school failed to prioritize the safety of our client’s child and other children numerous times.”

The lawsuit highlights By the Barnyard Gate's troubling history of noncompliance with state childcare laws. Between August 2019 and January 2023, the facility received 20 citations for various violations. Nearly half of these citations were for inadequate supervision of children.

About The Button Law Firm

The Button Law Firm is a Texas-based child injury law firm dedicated to advocating for children and their families through meaningful litigation to make local communities safer. Focusing on daycare and child-related injury cases, including abuse and neglect, bottle warmer burns, traumatic brain injuries, and catastrophic injuries, The Button Law Firm serves families across the Lone Star State with offices in Dallas, Houston, and Midland.

Get Help from The Button Law Firm After Sexual Abuse at Daycare

If your child has been injured due to daycare negligence, The Button Law Firm is here to provide the guidance and support you need. Our experienced team of daycare injury attorneys is committed to fighting for justice for families affected by daycare abuse and neglect.

For a free and confidential case evaluation, call us at 214-699-4409, email us at [email protected], or fill out our online contact form. You can also reach a member of our team by starting a chat. Let us help you navigate this challenging time and ensure your family’s rights are protected.

Russell Button
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Dallas, Houston, and Midland Texas trial and personal injury lawyer dedicated to securing justice for clients.