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Details of alleged sexual abuse at Santa Clarita, California’s Camp Joseph Scott
According to a lawsuit filed in Los Angele Superior Court, at least 20 women say they were sexually assaulted over the course of a dozen years at Camp Scott, Los Angeles County’s all-girls juvenile detention facility.
The women allege a culture of abuse at the Santa Clarita Valley military-style boot camp, where no fewer than 10 staff members subjected them to repeated sexual assault–the incidents occurred between 1996 and 2008.
Many of the women say the violations started with staff at the detention center watching them shower and progressed to unwanted touching and eventually forced sex acts.
In at least one case, a deputy probation officer is accused of impregnating a teenager, court documents show, while another staff member continued to victimize a different girl even after she was released, meeting her at a motel for sex.
“The perpetrators used this position of trust and authority to repeatedly sexually abuse juvenile females in their custody, care, control and direction,” the lawsuit states.
The camp’s staff–made up of deputy probation officers–controlled every aspect of the girls’ lives and could cut off mail or visitations as well as decide punishments, including a day or more in “the box,” a solitary confinement unit.
Victims and their families are encouraged to request a free, private case evaluation from a qualified attorney as soon as possible, as victims only have until the end of 2022 to file a valid claim!
Specific instances of sexual abuse allegations in California juvenile detention camps and centers
The Los Angeles Times identified the following cases through court documents, law enforcement records, and department sources.
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.
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 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.
- 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.”
The team at Shield Justice Online believes that every victim of sexual abuse at Camp Joseph Scott 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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