Chicago – Another man filed suit against United Airlines claiming he also suffered years of sexual abuse at the hands of a leader of a United Airlines’ mentoring program in Chicago during the 1990s.
Attorney Lyndsay Markley of The Law Office of Lyndsay A. Markley is representing the new plaintiff, as well as 18 other plaintiffs with previously filed lawsuits, who claim that they were sexually abused by Marvin Lovett, Project Coordinator of a college scholarship program called the ‘United Airlines Believers Program’.
The lawsuits are also filed against ‘I Have A Dream Chicago’ and ‘I Have A Dream Foundation’ who are alleged to have assisted in the implementation of the program.
[sws_pullquote_right] Read the complaint in John Doe #19 vs. United Continental Holdings, Inc. [/sws_pullquote_right]
The program was started in 1995 at James Weldon Johnson Elementary School in the North Lawndale community. The plaintiffs, now adult males, encountered Lovett during their participation in the program and much of the alleged abuse took place before, during and after activities they were required to attend to be eligible for college scholarships.
One of the program’s participants, Sylvester Jamison, shot Lovett to death in his apartment in 2000. Jamison, then aged 17, told police that Lovett had sexually abused him for years. During the police investigation, 140 tapes were found in Lovett's apartment depicting sexual acts involving underage boys in the Believers program.
After the shooting, United Airlines’ participation and public support cooled for the program and the airline tried to back out of its promise to pay for the participants’ college educations. Despite United Airlines’ claim to have no notice of Lovett’s conduct, numerous concerned parents claim to have complained to the airline about Lovett’s conduct toward the boys as early as 1996 or 1997.
“This program was meant to improve the lives of disadvantaged children – not destroy their lives and degrade them in the worst way possible. This case has disturbing similarities to the Pennsylvania State University/Jerry Sandusky and Archdiocese of Chicago/Daniel McCormack cases, as well as the latest Dennis Hastert allegations. It’s only because of the high-profile nature of these cases that my plaintiffs have found the strength to finally come forward,” attorney Markely said.