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Former patients file lawsuit against Sarasota rehab center claiming they were abused by an employee

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Posted at 11:23 AM, Dec 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-18 18:08:54-05

SARASOTA, Fla. — Two former patients at First Step of Sarasota have filed a lawsuit against the organization alleging abuse by an employee. The lawsuit was filed on Tuesday morning in Sarasota.

The suit alleges that Brandy Mooney and Megan Gault were abused at the facility by a staff member while they were receiving court-ordered treatment. First Step provides substance-abuse counseling in Sarasota County. Both women said they were abused in the kitchen by an employee in 2016.

"I was afraid of not being believed, I was afraid of being chastised, I was afraid of losing my place to live," said Mooney.

A press release from the plaintiff’s attorney said the employee has been fired since.

The women are coming forward to make sure no other women are abused in the future at the facility, according to a press release.

First Step of Sarasota officials said they will release a statement this afternoon about the lawsuit. A report has been filed with the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office, but so far no charges have been filed.

Story Developing. Stay with ABC Action News for updates.