Attorney Chris Kroes of Santa Barbara has filed a lawsuit against Joe Walker and the estate of Dr. Andrew Bourne on behalf of the juvenile victim in the sex crime cases against the two men and on behalf of her parents. Attorney Croes said the court ordered that the names of the victim and her parents must remain sealed to protect the privacy rights of the child.
In January, Walker and Bourne were arrested by Santa Barbara Police. The court filed charges of illegal contacts for purposes of sex with a 14-year-old Santa Barbara girl. Bourne took his own life a few weeks later and last week Walker pled guilty to five charges. An amended criminal complaint alleged that both men had sexual relations with the girl over a period of two years.
The civil complaint alleges sexual battery, infliction of emotional distress, fraud and deceit, statutory violations, conspiracy, seduction of a minor and violation of mandatory reporting obligations by Dr.Bourne.
The civil suit says specifically that the plaintiffs – the girl and her parents – are informed and believe that unlawful actions, including lewd acts and illegal sexual intercourse with a minor occurred in Santa Barbara County. The suit alleges that Bourne and Walker acted in concert and in a conspiracy to commit illegal acts and that others may have been a part of it.
The suit will include other defendants, the attorney alleges, as proof surfaces. The suit claims that others associated with Bourne and Walker may also be named as defendants in this suit. The complaint says, “partners, agents, servants, employers, co-conspirators and/ or employees of each of the other defendants” were acting as co-conspirators. The suit says the complaint will be amended to include these additional defendants when proof is obtained.
The suit states that “Bourne and Walker held themselves out to be pillars in the community, when in fact, they were both sexual predators.” The suit alleges that for two years, starting in 2009, Bourne and Walker engaged in a common plan between them to “befriend” the parents of the minor victim for the purposes of deceit and in order to gain trust and sexual access to their daughter. The suit alleges that Bourne and Walker did gain the trust of the family and then committed multiple lewd sexual acts including sexual relations upon the 14 year-old girl.
The suit further alleges that the two men both knew of and encouraged the other to have sex with the girl over two years. The suit claims that both men told the girl that they loved her and both made false promises to her regarding her future with them to persuade her to continue having sex with them. The suit says the two men told the girl that they would travel to Europe together and always be together.
The suit says that Andrew Bourne “knowing that he was guilty of the felony crimes he was charged with and additional felony crimes of which he knew that he was about to be charged with, committed suicide.” Walker, says the suit, pled guilty to multiple felonies in the case.
The complaint alleges that the female victim has suffered “severe emotional distress, with lifelong consequences.” Finally, the suit alleges that as a physician, Dr. Bourne had a duty to abide by the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act, and as a mandated reporter failed to report Joe Walker to authorities.
For all of the allegations, the plaintiffs ask for general and special damages, punitive damages and out of pocket expenses including attorneys fees – all of an unspecified amount.