Meehan Breaks Down Recounting Violent Sexual Abuse at YDC

Print More

WMUR screenshot

David Meehan is pictured Thursday testifying in his trial suing the state Department of Health and Human Services for his treatment at YDC starting when he was 15.


BRENTWOOD – Still haunted by the violent sexual abuse he suffered at the Sununu Youth Services Center, David Meehan had to stop his testimony Thursday when he became overcome by the guilt and shame he’s lived with every day since he was 15.

“I wanna be real tough and just sit here and run through this,” Meehan said before the trial paused for the day. SYSC was formerly known as YDC, Youth Development Center in Manchester.

Meehan spent most of Thursday testifying in Rockingham Superior Court about the rapes he suffered at the hands of YDC staff like Jeff Buskey, Stephen Murphy, and Frank Davis. But his breaking point came when he told jurors about the sexual assault of a female YDC inmate Buskey forced him to watch.

“I feel guilty still to this day that I couldn’t do anything at that moment,” Meehan said.

Meehan is seeking millions from the state because of the abuse and coverup in the first of more than 1,000 expected lawsuits filed by YDC survivors. Meehan’s lawsuit alleges YDC administrators failed to stop the abuse and took steps to quash investigations into the rampant sexual assaults.

Meehan ended up in YDC in the 1990s after he tried escaping an abusive home life by repeatedly running away, and getting caught for thefts he committed trying to live on his own as a 14 and 15 year old. Children were locked up 12 hours a day, and not allowed to speak, sit, eat, or go to the bathroom without permission, he testified.

Staff punished infractions with even more restrictive solitary confinement, which Meehan testified lasted for weeks on end. Evidence presented Thursday shows staff falsified records about one of his solitary confinement stays to show it ended after 10 days, when in reality it lasted approximately six weeks.

It was inside King Cottage that Meehan was first raped by notorious staffer Frank Davis, he testified. Another staffer, Dick Brown, stood at the door to Meehan’s cell during the rape to keep the door from closing and automatically locking Davis in, he testified.

Soon after that rape, Meehan began suffering pain and genital discharge. He was seen by a YDC nurse who diagnosed him as having gonorrhea. Meehan was put on antibiotics and placed into quarantine with several other boys who were also being treated with the same antibiotic, he testified.

When Meehan recovered and was placed back into the regular population, staffer Jeff Buskey began grooming him. Meehan testified Buskey gave him treats and soda, took an interest in his education, and even arranged to have Meehan play on an outside basketball team. But then, Buskey told Meehan he planned to force him into performing oral sex. Buskey first arranged to have Meehan call his girlfriend, then a resident at the Nashua Children’s Home, and break up with her.

This started a period in which Meehan was subject to regular sexual assaults by Buskey and staffer Stephen Murphy. Murphy would violently beat Meehan as part of his sexual assaults, Meehan testified. But Meehan testified that Buskey’s alleged depravity went further.

Meehan told jurors that as the weeks went by he struck up a friendship with a female inmate at YDC. Boys and girls were housed separately, but the two met during their school days. Buskey waited for a planned social event where the boys and girls would be together, Meehan testified. At the end of the evening, Buskey forced the girl and Meehan into a secluded area. There, Buskey forced Meehan watch him sexually assault the girl. Buskey told Meehan to learn from the girl, and that he wanted Meehan to perform the same way, he testified.

Meehan is expected to resume his testimony Friday.

Comments are closed.