MERCED, Calif (KGPE) – The family of 8-year-old Sophia Mason has filed two claims against Alameda County alleging abuse was reported to the county and staff failed to take action to keep the child safe.
Documents allege that Mason underwent “extreme mental, emotional, sexual, and physical abuse and severe neglect.” Mason’s family alleged 33 failures by the county to take action.
Attorney Carly Sanchez represents Sophia Mason’s family. She said over about a year, there were seven reports to the Social Services hotline reporting abuse. The attorney said 5 of them were never investigated.
The documents allege Mason was abused by her mother Samantha Johnson starting when she was 2-months-old.
Mason went to live with her grandmother, Sylvia Johnson, from ages 1-7 and then moved in with Johnson and her boyfriend, Dhante Jackson.
The claim said immediately the abuse started again, including an instance where Johnson allegedly hit and choked her daughter while covering her mouth to stop her from screaming.
Over the next year, there were several reports to Social Services, including a report of bruises all over her body, a report where a teacher said Mason wasn’t going to school and reports that Johnson was “unstable”.
In September 2021, the claim said the little girl showed up at Kaiser with cigarette burns and bruises but documents allege the Social Services worker closed the report and said there were no signs of abuse or neglect.
Sanchez said the little girl spoke up about the abuse, telling her mother she was sexually assaulted by Jackson and telling Social Workers she was scared.
“She told adults that were supposed to be able to help her that could have stepped in and removed her from the abusive situation she was in and instead of helping her, in my view, they made things worse by saying no one is coming to rescue you and you are alone in this situation,” said Sanchez.
Johnson and Jackson face murder charges for the death of Mason who was found dead inside their home in March. The County of Alameda has 45 days to respond to the claims filed by Mason’s family.