Last edited: February 14, 2005

2 Boys Caught Having Sex At Alexander Youth Center

Arkansas Democrat Gazette, September 11, 1998
Box 2221, Little Rock, AR 72203
Fax 501-372-3908

By Mary Hargrove Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

ALEXANDER -- Two boys allegedly were caught having sex at the Alexander Youth Services Center in the same cottage where an employee was stabbed by a teen-ager on Aug. 31.

An employee said he saw the boys, ages 14 and 17, engaged in sex in the laundry room at the House of Hope cottage about 11 p.m. on Sept. 3.

The unit manager has been placed on administrative leave with pay while both incidents are under investigation, said Joe Quinn, spokesman for the state Department of Human Services.

"There have been two serious incidents in that facility in a short time," Quinn said. "We are very much looking at what the staff was doing at the time of the episode. Were they awake? Were they vigilant?"

The Alexander campus is operated by the Youth Services Division, a part of Human Services. It is the state’s only lockup for children declared delinquent and placed in the custody of the state.

Lights out at the House of Hope cottage is at 9:30 p.m. and the teen-agers should be locked in their rooms at that time.

The 14-year-old has been at the facility since July, committed to state custody by a juvenile court judge for communicating a false alarm. The 17-year-old has been at Alexander since February for theft of property.

Quinn said it is not clear if any charges will be filed in the sex incident.

However, "It does not appear to be a predatory situation where an older, larger child was forcing himself on a smaller child," Quinn said.

The incident report was sent to Youth Services internal affairs investigator Gary Staggs the next day. Staggs called the Child Abuse Hotline and the offense will be investigated by state police.

Quinn said a new policy will soon allow staff at the center to call the hot line directly.

A separate investigation is continuing in the Aug. 31 stabbing attack by a 15-year-old boy on Youth Services worker Sherarick Paskell.

...... (excerpted)

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