Man Testifies About Abuse and Suicidal Thoughts at New Hampshire Youth Detention Center

Man Testifies About Abuse and Suicidal Thoughts at New Hampshire Youth Detention Center

In a riveting testimony during his civil trial, David Meehan recounted the harrowing experiences he endured as a teenager at New Hampshire’s Youth Development Center, alleging both physical and sexual abuse. Meehan, who spent three years at the facility in the late 1990s, revealed that he had contemplated suicide and even plotted to kill his abusers before finally coming forward.

Meehan’s testimony shed light on the downward spiral his life took after leaving the detention center. He confessed to engaging in burglary to support a heroin addiction and multiple suicide attempts. Although he managed to overcome drug use after a jail stint in 2012, Meehan struggled to function properly following hernia surgery in 2017, as memories of the abuse overwhelmed him.

During his testimony, Meehan disclosed that he had tracked down his alleged abusers over a decade later and had even purchased a gun with the intention of killing one of them, Jeff Buskey. However, he ultimately decided against it and confided in his wife instead, seeking help for his trauma.

Meehan’s wife promptly took him to a hospital, where he was referred to the police. This triggered an unprecedented criminal investigation into the facility, now known as the Sununu Youth Services Center. Simultaneously, the state is defending itself against over 1,100 lawsuits filed by former residents who claim negligence allowed the abuse to occur.

The civil trial took an unusual turn as Meehan faced cross-examination. Attorney Martha Gaythwaite, representing the state, questioned Meehan’s credibility, suggesting that he had a history of anger and violence. Gaythwaite presented a report that concluded Meehan had falsely accused his parents of physical abuse when they attempted to enforce rules. Meehan, however, disagreed and maintained that his mother had attacked him and burned him with cigarettes.

Gaythwaite also delved into Meehan’s disciplinary record at the youth center, highlighting an incident where he punched another boy, causing him to fall and split his head open. According to internal reports from the center, Meehan had planned to take the injured boy hostage with a stolen screwdriver as part of an escape attempt. Gaythwaite suggested that the victim of Meehan’s assault would not have been willing to be held hostage by him during an AWOL attempt.

Meehan, who claimed that the escape plan was conceived during a period when Buskey was sexually assaulting him daily, countered that the abuse became more violent when he fought back. He admitted to being submissive later on but emphasized that the abuse took a significant toll on him, leaving him with little of his former self.

Meehan also revealed that he had spent weeks locked in his room for 23 hours a day, hidden from view while his injuries healed. However, Gaythwaite presented a report from an ombudsman who claimed to have seen no signs of injuries. Meehan dismissed the investigator’s findings, suggesting that they had lied, and stated that his attempts to seek help were repeatedly rebuffed.

Author: CrimeDoor

1 Response

  1. It is truly heartbreaking to hear about the experiences that David Meehan endured at the Youth Development Center. It takes immense courage for survivors to come forward and share their stories, especially when it involves such traumatic events. This testimony sheds light on the importance of holding institutions accountable for the safety and well-being of the individuals in their care. It is crucial that we support survivors like David and work towards creating a system that protects vulnerable youth and ensures that such abuse never happens again.

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