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Specific instances of sexual abuse allegations in California juvenile detention camps and centers
Los Angeles County alone is one of the nation’s largest juvenile justice systems, with probation officers responsible for protecting 3,000 youths in 21 halls and camps.
The department, operating with a yearly budget of approximately $700 million, has been the subject of various federal investigations in recent years for failing to prevent, report, and document child abuse.
The Los Angeles Times identified the following cases through court documents, law enforcement records, and department sources.
Specific instances of sexual and physical abuse allegations in California group homes and children's centers include:
- A probation officer was captured on tape beating a youth in a juvenile hall recreation room – the officer was later convicted of battery and sentenced to 24 months probation.
The disciplined officer’s attorney said “extenuating circumstances” led to the beating, noting that his client was not properly trained to supervise violent youths.”
- A probation officer was found to have had sexual intercourse with three youths in the laundry, supply, and interview rooms of the detention hall where she worked – she later pled guilty to five counts of felony sexual abuse and was sentenced to four years in prison.
According to the officer, “I had a consensual relationship with a young man who was 17 and I stupidly thought I was in love with…everything else I did was completely inappropriate, unethical and extremely unprofessional.”
- A probation officer instructed five teenagers under her care to beat another teenager – she mistakenly believed a youth inmate had stolen her cellphone and was later sentenced to a year in jail.
The injured child was not allowed to see a doctor until another probation officer noticed his injuries the next day–the officer later found her cellphone in the parking lot.
Filed in December of 2022, a 359-page lawsuit details allegations of systemic failures and horrific scenes of sexual abuse that lawyers say went unchecked by the L.A. County Probation Department, which operates the camps and halls.
The team at Consumer Justice Action believes that every victim of sexual abuse at Camp Kenyon Scudder in Santa Clarita, California, should receive justice and compensation in a court of law – remember that victims only have until the end of 2022 to file a valid claim!
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