CONWAY, S.C. (WBTW) — The victim of a sexual assault and kidnapping at the Cove Apartments in Conway in 2021 has filed a lawsuit in connection with the attack.
The lawsuit names the South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice, BI Incorporated, Orion CCU, LLC and CF Real Estate Services, LLC.
The victim was in town visiting her sister who was a student at Coastal Carolina University, according to the lawsuit. Her sister lived at The Cove at Coastal Carolina, which is owned by Orion CCU, LLC.
The lawsuit alleges that in the early morning hours of Nov. 1, 2021, the victim arrived in her car in the parking lot of The Cove, alone. Mije Basknight and Ja’Rael Warren were in the area and took the woman from the car, kidnapped and sexually assaulted her and “left her for dead,” according to the lawsuit.
Both Basnight and Warren were on probation, the lawsuit said. Basnight was wearing an ankle monitor and reportedly on home confinement by the state DJJ.
The lawsuit further alleges that the state DJJ had a “duty to control and supervise” Basnight and that they knew Basnight was dangerous and posed a “substantial risk of serious harm.”
The ankle monitor and software that Basnight was wearing was purchased and installed by the state DJJ, according to the lawsuit. The monitors are installed on all juveniles and information is input from the BI Inc. software.
The lawsuit says BI Inc. trains state DJJ employees and provides tech services. The software installed on the ankle monitor is supposed to send an alert to the officer’s desk computer and officer’s agency cell phone if the juvenile — Basnight, leaves the approved perimeter.
The state DJJ’s computers and agency cell phones are not monitored after business hours and the training on the software by the state DJJ and BI Inc. for Juvenile Justice Officers is “nonexistent,” according to the lawsuit.
Orion CCU, LLC, also known as the The Cove, was named in the lawsuit, with the woman saying The Cove “represented to tenants and their families that it was a safe location and stated on their website that parents can ‘leave your worries behind!'”
The Cove did have security cameras installed, but the investigation found that they didn’t work, according to the lawsuit, which further alleges that they undertook security measures to tenants and guests by hiring security guards who “on occasion patrol the area but were not normally present in the parking lot but were usually watching TV at the pool.”
The woman said in the lawsuit that she learned The Cove did not have a security guard there at the time of the attack. The Cove has been subject to violent crime before, including an attempted abduction in 2022.
The lawsuit claims the state DJJ was negligent in several ways, including in “failing to monitor and respond to an ankle alert after hours” as well as “failing to monitor and respond to any ankle alerts after hours.”
BI Inc. was negligent in several ways, the lawsuit said, including in “failing to provide software which would send an alert such as in this case.”
The Cove at Coastal Carolina was negligent in “failing to provide appropriate security” as well as “having knowledge of prior criminal acts and failing to protect the plaintiff,” according to the lawsuit.
CF Real Estate Services, LLC, was negligent in “failing to advise students of the dangers at The Cove” as well as in “failing to set up safety protocol,” the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit is seeking an unspecified amount for actual damages, punitive damages, for emotional distress, medical treatment, psychiatric treatment, continued “pain and suffering,” future psychotherapy treatment, and mental health counseling.”
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Caleb is a digital producer at News13. Caleb joined the team in January 2023 after graduating from Liberty University. He is from Northern Virginia. Follow Caleb on X, formerly Twitter, and read more of his work here.