The Big Brothers Big Sisters of Utah organization has been sued by a man who says the group did not do enough to stop a former mentor from sexually abusing him when he was a boy over a period lasting nearly five years.
The mentor, Antonio Cardenas, pleaded guilty to child sex abuse involving the same alleged victim in 2012 and is now serving a 35-year federal prison sentence.
The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in Salt Lake City’s 3rd District Court.
The group’s president and CEO, Nancy Winemiller Basinger, said in a statement Wednesday that the organization was saddened that a child was exploited by one of its former mentors. Basinger said the organization uses strict guidelines created with help from national experts to keep children safe — but the lawsuit alleged they were not followed during the years that Cardenas preyed on the boy.