PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) - A man who was in DCYF custody as a teen and who now has an active federal lawsuit against DCYF and others, was hit with a lien for almost $207,000 in medical expenses by the state.
Nicholas Alahverdian is now 25 years old and no stranger to battling the State of Rhode Island and the Department of Children, Youth and Families over how he was treated after he was removed from his family in 2002.
"It shows that even though I paid in blood, I still have some worth to the State of Rhode Island," Alahverdian says, somewhat sarcastically and clearly shaken by the letter he received from the state. "As a dollar sign, apparently."
Alahverdian, who says he's an orphan, scrolled through his laptop, showing Target 12 a 6 page itemized list of charges that came with the letter. He pointed to several line items involving treatment for injuries sustained while he says he was supposed to be protected by DCYF.
Calls by Target 12 to a phone number on the letter were not returned and neither were calls and an email to the spokesperson for the Office of Health and Human Services.
The lien was issued as Alahverdian is suing a long list of former and current state officials and the DCYF. He alleges he was physically and sexually assaulted while he lived in an estimated 20 group homes in 3 states, They all met DCYF approval but Alahverdian says he was ‘terrorized'.
"What I went through, no one should ever have to go through," Alahverdian says with a shake of his head. "Take your worst nightmare and multiply it by 5000. There were rapes. There were beatings."
Alahverdian tells Target 12, he will continue to push for changes in Rhode Island law to require DCYF to house children in state custody, in Rhode Island group homes, instead of sending them to out of state facilities. Alahverdian also touts paying foster parents more to care for children and finding a way to expand adoption options.
And he has no plans to pay the $206 918.39 lien.
"It's incredibly, incredibly despicable," Alahverdian says, clearly agitated..
Meanwhile, Target 12 has learned the federal lawsuit filed by Alahverdian in 2011 is inching forward. The motions to dismiss the suit by several defendants, including former Governor Don Carcieri were withdrawn Wednesday.
Copyright WPRI 12
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