Davis, CA-- Two boys, ages 13 and 14, were booked into Yolo County Juvenile Hall Wednesday for allegedly raping an 11-year-old girl, say Davis police.
The individuals are residents of the Families First Inc. Psychiatric Treatment facility, a licensed group home for youth on 5th Street.
Police Lt. Glenn Glasgow said the crime was not committed at the home. The boys and girl had left the home without permission, investigators learned.
Glasgow said the girl reported the assault, in which she was forcibly held down and raped, to police on June 4, two weeks after the act.
Glasgow said investigators have also learned there were other incidents of illegal sexual acts which took place away from the group home. The involved individuals may also be responsible for theft, shoplifting and fighting, he said.
Davis police have received more than 500 calls from Families First since the first of the year, Glasgow said. In the last two weeks, there were several arrests of residents of the home for felony assault and several youth have been taken into protective custody.
Families First is a level 14 group home, which is the highest level with the most troubled kids.
One of the residents, 14, said many of the issues stem from lack of supervision. The teen said many staff positions were cut in December and there aren't enough staff members to supervise the kids.
"They just let the kids walk off," the teen said. "And they don't supervise them at all."
He also said he witnessed workers abusing the kids in the facility.
"It's really violent there" the teen added. "And the staff gives a lot of attitudes to kids and disrespect and are just too strict on the kids. And they tend to hurt the kids a lot."
"The kids have obviously done something and they are there," the boy's father said. "It has the makings to be a fabulous place, but in my opinion, they're just there for a paycheck."
A spokesperson with Families First said there are 50-60 kids at the facility. Families First declined to disclose numbers on the facility's staff to child ratio.
The Davis Police Department is working with the state Department of Social Services (DSS), Yolo County District Attorney's Office, and Yolo County Child Welfare Services to review how Families First is being operated and investigate what illegal activity may be occurring.
Families First, Capital Region Executive Director Gordon Richardson provided the following statement when News10 went to Families First:
The Davis Police Department and Community Care Licensing initiated an investigation to ensure that the children in our program are safe. We are fully cooperating with the investigation. As you saw in our lobby, we have been answering questions, and assisting CCL and Davis PD with conducting interviews with children. We are deeply committed to the safety and well-being of all the children on the Campus and in the community. Given the ongoing nature of the investigation, we are unable to provide additional information at this time.
From Michael Weston, spokesman for DSS:
"These are very serious circumstances. The safety of all children in the care of the facility is the top priority.
Licensing investigators from the Department of Social Services have been at the facility and are working closely with Davis Police and the Yolo County District Attorney's office in their investigations. The Department of Social Services will take appropriate actions based on the findings.
As part of the investigation some children have been removed from the facility and steps have been taken to ensure the safety of those remaining."