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Details about victims suffering sexual abuse by catholic leadership at the Hanna Boys Center
Current Hanna Boys Center CEO Brian Farragher has addressed but not disputed the charges of molestation made against the facility’s former executive director.
Father John Crews, the executive director until 2013, is newly accused of abusing two residents — one young man who lived at Hanna from 1984-85 and another from 1999-2001.
Crews resigned in 2013 after being accused of sexually abusing a boy in the 1970s.
Another abuser at Hanna is Kevin Scott Thorpe, who was promoted to clinical director at Hanna months before his June 2017 arrest and is now serving 21 years in state prison in the San Joaquin Valley.
Santa Rosa Bishop Robert F. Vasa, who sits on the board of trustees for the boys center, said that the diocese had paid out at least $31 million in settlements to clergy abuse victims since the early 1990s.
The recent $6.8 million settlement is the latest development in a painful and tumultuous period for the venerable 74-year-old boys center, which has struggled after a wave of troubles linked to Thorpe’s misconduct, a related whistleblower case, and ensuing turmoil in the ranks of staff and board leaders.
In a letter from current Hanna Boys Center CEO Brian Farragher, he states “Trauma and adversity are the stories of our kids’ lives”...which “can keep them stuck in their past unless we intentionally provide them with a different reality and create the conditions for change. This is why it is so painful to think that any young person may have been hurt in our care. We look forward to a continued commitment to our boys – to their safety and to helping them change their lives.”
One of the alleged victims called for “anyone else who has been a victim to step forward, let your voice be heard, and understand that it is not and was not ever a fault of your own.”
The Consumer Justice Action team encourages sexual abuse victims of the Hanna Boys Center in Sonoma, California, to get a free, private case evaluation.
Specific instances of sexual abuse allegations in California group homes and children's 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.
Operating with a yearly budget of approximately $700 million, the department 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 the next day when another probation officer noticed his injuries–the officer later found her cellphone in the parking lot.
The Consumer Justice Action team believes that sexual abuse victims of the Hanna Boys Center in Sonoma, California, should receive compensation for pain and suffering.
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