Victim Who Alleged Years of Sexual Abuse at Bedford County Youth Compound Files $75-Million Lawsuit Against Founder J.E. Rash and Organizations Legacy International and World Community
Kevin Biniazan—September 23, 2021
Calling itself a “pioneer in values-based global leadership development,” Legacy International, located in a remote compound in Bedford County, Virginia, claims to equip emerging leaders with the skills “to transform their values and vision into sustainable success” through “professional development, cross-cultural and diversity training, peace education” and other methods. Yet for some two decades starting in 1994, founder J.E. Rash sexually abused and raped a girl living on the rural premises.
So says a young woman identified only as MB, now living out of state after escaping from Legacy International, located at 1020 Legacy Drive, and from its companion organization, World Community, located at 1329 Prosperity Drive. MB contends that as a young child, Rash began “grooming her” by insisting on being kissed, first on the cheek and then, at fourteen years old, on the mouth. The Complaint alleges Rash later revealed his genitalia to MB and, when she was fifteen, “commanded” MB to perform oral sex on him. Rash took the “plaintiff out of class” to spend more “private and alone time” with MB leading to multiple rapes, both on the Bedford property and on vacation and other trips to New York on behalf of World Community and Legacy International.
“By the beginning of 1996,” according to the nine-count civil suit, Rash “sexually abused the Plaintiff almost daily.” It was not until May 23, 2017, a decade after an initial escape, that MB says she was “admitted to an inpatient psychiatric facility for treatment where she was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and other related anxiety and mental health disorders” stemming from Rash’s sexual abuse.
Represented by attorney Kevin Biniazan of Breit Biniazan, with offices in Virginia Beach and Richmond, MB contends other minor girls were forced to submit to J.E. Rash prior to her time at Legacy International, and that Rash’s behavior was known to other employees and even members of the board of directors of Legacy International and World Community who are listed as liable for damages in the lawsuit.
“As we allege in this lawsuit, J.E. Rash was a serial predator enabled by others around him, specifically leaders and directors of Legacy International and World Community, to have his way with children and teens who feared him and for their safety,” says Biniazan. “We intend to prove in a court of law that these organizations, whatever their purported value was to the campers and others who have attended programs there since 1979, tolerated horrendous behavior out of either a sense of loyalty or ignorance. It is time someone threw light on all that has occurred at this rural site, which seems to have generally escaped the scrutiny of the public, the media and government agencies tasked with protecting the rights of minors. I applaud, and we all should applaud, MB for finally doing so.”
The suit seeks $25-million in compensatory damages and $50-million in punitive damages from Legacy International, World Community and J.E. Rash.
Kevin is a trial attorney who passionately represents individuals injured or harmed by the carelessness of others. Between jury trials and settlements, Kevin has secured more than $15 million for his clients in his first two years of practice.