The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department is investigating allegations that a staff member at a juvenile-hall facility touched a minor in a sexually inappropriate manner.
On Aug. 8, CityBeat reported that the San Diego County Probation Department, which manages the county’s juvenile-detention system, had recorded one case of “criminal conduct by staff / contract staff” in June at the East Mesa Juvenile Detention Facility. No further information was available at the time, and the county’s public-safety spokesperson did not respond to emails.
Through a request filed under the California Public Records Act (CPRA), CityBeat has obtained an email sent by assistant chief probation officer Yvette Klepin to the Juvenile Justice Commission, an independent oversight body, that acknowledges that the alleged crime is sexual in nature. The details remain vague.
“A minor alleged a staff got too close to him which produced an inappropriate genital contact by the staff to the minor’s back,” Klepin writes in a June 29 email. “The matter has been referred to CWS [Child Welfare Services] and local law enforcement and an investigation is currently in progress by local law enforcement.”
Klepin’s email also reveals that Probation is investigating two separate possible violations of the department’s policies for use of Oleoresin Capsicum spray (often referred to as OC or pepper spray) on minors.
In May, CityBeat raised questions about Probation’s frequent use of the controversial chemical restraint when most states don’t allow it in juvenile facilities. Probation used it 461 times at its five juvenile facilities in 2011 and 234 times in the first half of 2012.