The Department of Children's Services was named in a civil lawsuit involving a former caseworker charged with sexual battery, accusing the department of negligence.
The suit came after one of its case workers was arrested and charged with sexual battery on a young mother.
Eulice Handy, 43, a former DCS caseworker was arrested and charged with sexual battery last July.
"I just thought it was outrageous," said Sondra Angel, who is a friend and former neighbor of the alleged victim.
Handy came to her neighbor's apartment for a scheduled visit concerning the woman's two young children. Angel said not long after that La Vergne police arrived on the scene to interview her neighbor.
"She was very shaken. It just didn't seem right. At first I didn't believe it, but after I saw the cops I was like wow. That's terrible," said Angel.
In the lawsuit now filed against Handy and DCS, the woman alleges Handy blocked her access to all reasonable exits and engaged in acts of a sexual nature placing her in fear for her life and of serious bodily harm.
The suit charges that Handy came to the apartment under the authority of Child Protective Services, and it names DCS for negligence by failures in hiring, properly supervising and training Defendant Handy.
Angel, the victim's friend, wondered if Handy abused his position of authority to allegedly go after her friend. "I don't think anybody would expect it," said Angel.
The state declined comment on the lawsuit. Handy's case is still in the system. He will be in Rutherford County Criminal court next month for a plea hearing. In the meantime, he was released on bond.