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Who is Anthony Janeway? Boy, 11, 'choked and verbally abused' at Kentucky facility where seven-yr-old died

Anthony Janeway's mother Autumn sued the Brooklawn Institution in Louiseville claiming that her special needs son was physically abused
UPDATED NOV 19, 2022
(Representative picture, Getty Images)
(Representative picture, Getty Images)

If you or anyone you know suspects child abuse, you are urged to immediately call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453, or go to All calls are toll-free and confidential and the hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.

LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY: A woman reportedly said that her 11-year-old son was subjected to inhuman treatment, including choking, scratching and verbal abuse, at a facility where a seven-year-old boy died due to asphyxia. Autumn Janeway said her son Anthony was subjected to "physical and mental abuse" at the Brooklawn Institution in Louisville from July 2021 until March.

Janeway, who filed a negligence lawsuit against the facility's parent company on Friday, November 18, said that she had enrolled Anthony in the facility for private residential therapeutic treatment for a variety of issues, including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, conduct disorder, and because he was harming himself and his younger siblings and running away, as per NBC News.


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She admitted that she tried her best to keep Anthony, a special needs child and was developmentally delayed, at home since he was five and was constantly concerned about his and his siblings' safety, as per NBC news.

Brooklawn, which is owned and operated by the nonprofit organization Uspiritus and treats children with mental and behavioral needs, was the first institutional home Anthony has lived in. “I needed help and when you take a parent like me that is desperate to get their child help, we put trust into places like Brooklawn,” Janeway reportedly said, as per NBC News.

According to the lawsuit, which names Uspiritus and Seven Counties Services as defendants, Anthony told Janeway during a call early on October 3, 2021, that he was being "choked" by the facility's employees. After hearing that, she, her fiance and her other three children, drove an hour hour west from Georgetown to Brooklawn.

Upon arrival, she tried to get into Anthony's cottage but the facillity's director took her to another building where she met him. The lawsuit further stated that when she hugged him, she saw "bright red circular marks and bruising" on his neck along with "contusions" on his chest. “I absolutely lost it. I hit the floor. I was so emotional. I didn’t know what to do,” Janeway said, as per the outlet.

The facility director quickly chalked it up to “a restraint position” Anthony had been placed in. Janeway, however, did not believe it. In the lawsuit, Anthony reportedly said that a staffer, whom he called “Miss Debbie” and had long nails, "wrung his neck and scratched him," which was the reason behind the red marks. 

Speaking to the outlet, he said, “She choked me. She had this smile or smirk on her face while she did it. I was always scared,” he said. He reportedly said that he had seen "other children being abused and choked by Miss Debbie."

Brooklawn has been marred by several complaints earlier too. Ja'Ceon Terry, a seven-year-old state ward who had been staying at the facility, died of "positional asphyxia" on July 17, as per the Jefferson County Coroner's Office, NBC had reported.

A program manager at that time reportedly recalled being told that a child (Terry) had been held in a chokehold by two employees and had begun to vomit. No charges have been filed but two employees involved in the incident were fired.