New England reporter Holly Ramer spent months sifting through over 1,000 lawsuits to understand how many victims of alleged physical and sexual abuse at New Hampshire’s youth detention center were eligible to have their cases criminally prosecuted, while the state had only taken action on a few.
This story started as a way to explain why only 11 men have been arrested, none in the last 2 ½ years. After prosecutors declined to discuss the ongoing investigation, other than to say that the statute of limitations was one obstacle, Ramer decided to find out how many cases were still within the statute of limitations, which in cases of child sexual assault, runs until a victim turns 40.
Attorneys for the victims agreed to share the lawsuits filed against the state, starting with a batch of 800 over the summer and more than 1,100 total by December. Ramer read each roughly 10-page document and compiled a list of the most frequently accused staffers.
Ramer worked with attorneys to talk again with a man named Jacob who remained anonymous when we interviewed and photographed him in 2021 but was now willing to be more public. Photographer Charles Krupa handled the initial shoot so compassionately, the victim felt comfortable that he would do so again and agreed to show his face.