Adoptive parents fail to dismiss torture lawsuit
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A New Hampshire judge denied a motion from a couple seeking to dismiss a lawsuit filed by their adoptive daughter alleging years of torture and abuse — including once pouring hot sauce down her throat and forcing her to eat her vomit.

Olivia Atkocaitis is suing her adoptive parents, Denise Atkocaitis and Thomas Atkocaitis. They had sought to dismiss the case, arguing they were not properly served, that the court lacks jurisdiction over them, and the applicable statute of limitations bars Olivia Atkocaitis’ complaint. The court disagreed.

Law&Crime first reported on the lawsuit in February, in which Olivia Atkocaitis says that her adoptive parents, Thomas and Denise Atkocaitis, denied her an education and health care and threatened her with deportation if she did not behave. The lawsuit also alleges “an enormous and massive failure” by police and the state’s child protective services agency to protect her. The New Boston Police Department arrested the parents on Oct. 18, 2018. Ultimately both agreed to plea deals which resulted in no jail time for Denise Atkocaitis and a six-month jail term for Thomas Atkocaitis.

“The state failed me,” Olivia Atkocaitis told the Boston Globe. “I was always in pain. I was always nervous. I was always anxious. I was in a constant state of panic.”

Brian Cullen, attorney for the New Boston police, said the lawsuit is vague, Manchester, New Hampshire ABC affiliate WMUR-TV reported.

“This is the time, in this case, to trim down both counts and parties,” Cullen said.

Olivia Atkocaitis, right inset, alleges her adoptive parents, Thomas and Denise Atkocaitis, left insets, kept her locked in a basement "dungeon," left, in New Hampshire during her childhood before she escaped in 2018, a lawsuit said. (Thomas and Denise Atkocaitis photos from New Boston Police Department via The Associated Press; basement photo from the complaint filed in New Hampshire on Monday, Jan. 30, 2023; Atkocaitis screenshot from Manchester, New Hampshire, ABC affiliate WMUR-TV/YouTube)

Olivia Atkocaitis, right inset, alleges her adoptive parents, Thomas and Denise Atkocaitis, left insets, kept her locked in a basement “dungeon,” left, in New Hampshire during her childhood before she escaped in 2018, a lawsuit said. (Thomas and Denise Atkocaitis photos from New Boston Police Department via The Associated Press; basement photo from the complaint filed in New Hampshire on Monday, Jan. 30, 2023; Atkocaitis screenshot from Manchester, New Hampshire, ABC affiliate WMUR-TV/YouTube)

Michael Courtney, who serves as counsel for the town of New Boston, denied the allegations, according to New Hampshire Public Radio. He told the station that the investigation “led to the removal of the plaintiff from the home and conditions her adopted parents subjected her to.”

“It was also the New Boston Police Department who filed felony level charges and arrested both Thomas and Denise Atkocaitis for offenses committed against the Plaintiff,” Courtney wrote, according to NHPR.

New Boston, New Hampshire, is about 65 miles north of Boston.

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