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Doe v. Schneider

October 29, 2009

JOHN DOE, ET AL
v.
KENNETH SCHNEIDER, ET AL



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Goldberg, J.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

Plaintiffs, John Doe (hereinafter, "Doe") and his wife Jane Doe (hereinafter, "Wife"), have instituted this action against Defendants, Kenneth Schneider (hereinafter, "Schneider"), Bernard Schneider, Marjorie Schneider, Susan Schneider and The Apogee Foundation. The law suit stems from Doe's claim that Schneider sexually abused him over the course of eight years, while Schneider and the other Defendants financially supported his education and ballet training. Defendants have filed the instant Motion to Dismiss, seeking the dismissal ofPlaintiffs' Amended Complaint. For the reasons that follow, Defendants' motion will be granted in part and denied in part.

FACTS

The following facts have been taken from the allegations in the Amended Complaint, viewed in the light most favorable to Plaintiffs:

Doe was born in Kazakhstan in 1986.*fn1 At the age of ten, Doe was accepted into the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow, who, in turn, referred Doe and his family to Schneider, a ballet patron. Schneider worked in Moscow at the time, and offered financial assistance to Doe's parents through The Apogee Foundation, which was established and run by the Schneider family.*fn2 Schneider also suggested that Doe live with him in Moscow, and Doe's parents assented to this offer. The Complaint alleges that once Schneider and Doe began living together, Schneider:

. . . plied him with electronic gifts and then with exotic descriptions, illustrations and examples of Greek and Roman pedophilia accompanied by bathing, then massaging, fondling, kissing and ultimately the first of many violent acts of sodomy and penetration of the Plaintiff commencing while he was twelve years of age.

During the course of this illicit conduct, Schneider threatened to ruin Doe's ballet career if he ever revealed the abuse, which Doe claims continued for the next eight years. (Amended Complaint, ¶¶ 1, 12-18).

When Doe was sixteen (16), he and Schneider moved to Pennsylvania to live with Schneider's parents, Marjorie and Bernard. Doe alleges that the sexual abuse continued in Pennsylvania, whenever he was left alone with Schneider. After the move to Pennsylvania, Schneider and his family arranged for Doe to attend a dance summer program in 2002 and 2003, and Doe alleges that Schneider continued to sexually abuse him throughout this time period. (Amended Complaint, ¶¶ 21-24).

The Complaint chronicles continued sexual abuse in 2003 during an interstate car trip and when Schneider and Doe moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts, where Doe was enrolled in high school. (Amended Complaint, ¶¶ 25-26).

In 2006, Doe entered into a ballet academy in Pennsylvania, where he met Wife, who he married in 2007. The complaint further alleges that prior to the marriage, Schneider and his mother, Marjorie Schneiderthreatened to withdraw their financial support of Plaintiff, if Doe and his wife's relationship continued. (Amended Complaint, ¶¶ 28-29).

In December of 2006, Doe spent three days in the hospital for depression. At the beginning of the hospital stay, Doe claims that Marjorie Schneider threatened to have him sent back to Russia. Upon his discharge from the hospital, Doe refused to return to Schneider's home. In apparent retaliation, Marjorie Schneider demanded the return of $5000 that Doe had received from Defendants and then fraudulently obtained Doe's signature on a general release, which attempted to absolve Schneider and the other Defendants from any liability. (Amended Complaint, ¶¶ 33-37).

Doe and Wife filed their original complaint against Defendants, Schneider, The Apogee Foundation, Marjorie Schneider, Bernard Schneider, and Susan Schneider,*fn3 on August 12, 2008. Plaintiffs then filed the Amended Complaint, which is the subject of this motion, on August 29, 2008, alleging eight counts as follows:

(1) A claim under 18 U.S.C. § 2255, which was brought by Doe against all Defendants (Count I);

(2) Assault and Battery, which was brought by Doe against Schneider (Count II);

(3) Vicarious Liability/Negligent Hiring and Supervision, which was raised by Doe against The Apogee Foundation, Marjorie Schneider, Susan Schneider and Bernard Schneider (Count III);

(4) Breach of Fiduciary Responsibility, which was brought by Doe against all Defendants (Count IV);

(5) Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress, which was raised by Wife against Schneider and Marjorie Schneider (Count V);

(6) Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, which was brought by Doe and Wife against Marjorie Schneider (Count VI);

(7) Violations under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, which were raised by Doe against Schneider, the Apogee Foundation, ...


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