Woman sues Pecan Valley Centers; claims organization ignored years of sexual assault by employee.
Special to Beneath the Surface News
A North Texas woman has filed a negligence lawsuit against Pecan Valley Centers for Behavioral & Developmental Healthcare claiming the management of the organization ignored years of sexual assaults and molestation by its systems administrator.
That employee, Arran Spoede, an administrator at the Pecan Valley facility in Stephenville for 12 years, was arrested in September 2022 by Erath County authorities on charges of possession or promotion of child pornography and aggravated sexual assault of a child.
At the time of his arrest, investigators recovered a Pecan Valley-owned mobile phone later found to have numerous videos of Spoede engaging in sexual intercourse with the young woman, identified in the lawsuit as Jane Doe, and other unidentified women.
The arrest affidavit states that the sexual assaults of Jane Doe by Spoede, her former stepfather, began at home when she was 12 years old.
The lawsuit claims that many of those assaults occurred at the Stephenville facility as recently as the summer of 2022 and involved other patients there. The lawsuit further claims Spoede used Pecan Valley owned and issued equipment to record or photograph the sexual assaults.
An Erath County grand jury indicted Spoede on the criminal charges in December and he remains behind bars at the Erath County Jail.
“It’s a tragedy that Pecan Valley management could have and should have prevented years of molestation against multiple, vulnerable young people,” said Jane Doe’s attorney Rogge Dunn of the Rogge Dunn Group, P.C. in Dallas. “By failing to enforce its own policies and exercise reasonable care, this company gave a sexual predator the controlled environment, equipment and opportunities that made these despicable acts possible.”
Based in Granbury, Texas Pecan Valley operates behavioral health facilities in Erath, Hood, Johnson, Palo Pinto, Parker and Somervell counties. The organization’s website proclaims a mission to serve “all who strive to overcome challenges associated with mental illness, alcohol and chemical dependency, intellectual and developmental disabilities.”
“Pecan Valley was contacted weeks ago with details of these assaults and the serious, long-term injuries and needs of Ms. Doe,” Dunn stated in a press release. “Rather than show any remorse or sympathy, Pecan Valley didn’t even care enough to respond. I think that callous indifference speaks volumes.
“I hope the courage Jane Doe has shown by filing this lawsuit will empower other victims or witnesses to come forward to reveal what they know about Mr. Spoede and Pecan Valley’s operations.”
The lawsuit is Jane Doe v. Pecan Valley MHMR et al, Cause No. 23CVDC-00026 in the 266th District Court in Erath County.
Jane Doe is also represented in the lawsuit by Stephenville attorney James Beam.
Click here to watch attorney Rogge Dunn discuss the case.