Abuse, murder case may net foster child $4 million

A boy who suffered abuse while in San Francisco’s foster care system and whose twin sister was murdered by their guardian is poised to receive $4 million to settle a lawsuit he filed against The City.

In 2008, Antioch foster mother Shameeka Davis was charged by the Contra Costa County district attorney with torturing and murdering her 15-year-old niece Jazzmin Davis and abusing her twin brother.

The children were under the supervision of the San Francisco Department of Child Protective Services.

Examinations reportedly showed both had been burned with hot irons and whipped with belts and electrical cords over time. In August 2009, the brother filed a lawsuit against The City.

A $4 million settlement agreement will be introduced Tuesday to the Board of Supervisors for review and approval.

The San Francisco Examiner is not naming the brother because he’s a minor.

The case raised questions about the state of San Francisco’s foster care system.

At the time of the incident, Trent Rhorer, executive director of San Francisco’s Human Services Agency, was quoted in the press as saying neither San Francisco nor Contra Costa children’s services received any reports of suspected abuse. A social worker had visited Jazzmin in March 2008 and reportedly found no evidence of abuse. Jazzmin was found dead in September of that year.

“This is not something that goes away,” said Darren Kessler, the plaintiff’s attorney. “This is something that will be with him for the rest of his life.”

Kessler said a “central focus” of the case should be on why the abuse happened in the first place.

“There has been a lax attitude toward children in the foster care system.” Kessler said, adding, “Hopefully this outcome will make a difference.”

jsabatini@sfexaminer.com

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