BREAKING NEWS: Juveniles Arrested For Rape At FamiliesFirst (Updated)

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police_tapeThe Vanguard has learned that on Wednesday, June 5, a 13-year-old male and a 14-year-old male were taken into temporary custody by the Davis Police Department after an 11-year-old female reported that she had been held down and forcibly raped by the boys. Both males were taken to the Yolo County Juvenile Hall.

According to a press release from the Davis Police Department, “All three of the minors reside at FamiliesFirst, which is a group home in Davis that houses and supports youth. The sexual assault did not occur on the property of FamiliesFirst. Other youth were reported to be present, although their involvement is still being investigated. Each of the youth had left the FamiliesFirst facility without permission, which they were required to have, and they were not under the supervision of the Families First staff, as they were required to be.”

The police report that numerous other incidents of illegal sexual activity were discovered during the investigation – all of which occurred outside of the facility.  In addition, the youth engaged in other activities including shoplifting, theft and fighting.

The police report that this incident also follows several other felony arrests of minors who reside at Families First, including several who were arrested for serious assault offenses in the last two weeks.

There have reportedly been 500 calls for service to the Davis Police Department from Families First in 2013.

“Over a hundred reports were made of youth running away from the facility. The police department met with FamiliesFirst staff and management on multiple occasions in order to come up with ways to reduce the incidents and to ensure the minors were being properly supervised. Despite efforts, minors were routinely leaving the facility,” the police report.

The Davis Police Department is now working with the State Department of Social  Services, the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office, and Yolo County Child Welfare Services to investigate illegal behavior, and any violations against the license for the facility.

“At this point, several minors have been taken into protective custody and were removed from the facility. This investigation is extremely complex, involves multiple governmental agencies and layers of oversight, and minors who require great care during interviews. The police department will not be releasing detailed information because of the confidentiality requirements involving juvenile cases,” the police release stated.

UPDATE: 11:20 am

The Vanguard has spoken with Davis Police Lt. Glenn Glasgow, who said that reports that the facility has been shut down by state regulators is not accurate.

He told the Vanguard at this time that fewer than 12 minors have been removed.

“We’re anticipating in all less than a dozen will be removed from FamiliesFirst,” he said, noting that normally, while the numbers fluctuate, there are about 55 to 60 kids at the facility on Fifth Street in Davis.

“The rape was reported over the weekend.  We moved pretty quickly based on the allegations which culminated in the arrest of the two juveniles,” he said.  “During the course of the investigation, it was kind of like a spiderweb to where we would speak to individuals and we would uncover additional illegal sexual activity or other incidences of physical fights which occurred both off property and on campus.”

The police have made other arrests for serious assaults in the last couple of weeks. 

He called it “a very complex investigation” and details are limited, due to the ages of the children involved.

UPDATE: 11:38 am

Gordon Richardson, the Executive Director of the Capital Region EMQ FamiliesFirst, sent a statement, “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.”

He said, “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.”

He added, “Given the ongoing nature of the investigation, we are unable to provide additional information at this time.”

—David M. Greenwald reporting

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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14 thoughts on “BREAKING NEWS: Juveniles Arrested For Rape At FamiliesFirst (Updated)”

  1. David M. Greenwald

    Updated with a brief interview with Lt. Glasgow still working on getting a comment from Families First and the State Department of Social Services.

  2. JimmysDaughter

    If accusations proven true in a court of law, this is nauseating. This sort of reminds me of the Richmond gang rape a few years back, near their high school dance. What possesses young males to do this heinous act? Where do they learn that this is in any way acceptable behavior? What causes this behavior? Sickening.

  3. JimmysDaughter

    D.P., I understand your point, but there have been occasions where I did not constantly supervise my junior high aged kids and they never gang raped anyone. So what really is the cause of this heinous behavior? Where did they learn that is is in any way acceptable? It is more than group think. What is it?

  4. JimmysDaughter

    The JAYC foundation provides help to victims of trauma. I hope the girl victim contacts the JAYC Foundation for possible assistance.

  5. Davis Progressive

    but your kids aren’t kids ending up in these facilities. obviously they have problems to begin with – that’s why they end up there. so the question is how are these kids getting out of the facility and who is supposed to be watching them. also there were 500 calls, where is the red flag to someone??

  6. JimmysDaughter

    DP, yeah. I hope that the horrible (alleged) behavior of some of these kids doesn’t undermine all the good work that Families First does for these lost souls.

  7. JimmysDaughter

    P.S. Of course they need adult supervision. But a 13 & 14 year old should know the difference between right & wrong, unless they have very bad mental health issues…..

  8. Growth Izzue

    [quote]The “fair and balanced” Fox News has glommed onto this story. I saw their trucks outside FF and the Davis PD around noon today. [/quote]

    Thanks Varzil, it’s good to know that we will get a fair assessment of the facts from a reputable news agency.

  9. anglives4Him

    I am a parent of a teen at FF, I feel compelled to share my view.
    First, Not all of the kids placed there have these severe issues. There are many different reasons a child may be placed at families first. Not all of them are criminals or delinquents with severe mental issues. Many come from traumatic homes or have been placed in the foster care system and due to abuse, trauma and/or neglect are now acting out. Someone in their life has failed them, and my heart breaks for them. FF is committed to helping them deal with the trauma and behavioral issues they have. Then there are kids like my son… who is autistic and bipolar and comes from a loving, caring home and has been raised in a nurturing environment. Thankfully he is not involved in any way with these incidents and has virtually no knowledge of what is going on. He knows kids have been leaving campus and are now in trouble, but that is the extent of his knowledge. We are very involved in our son’s treatment and frequent the FF campus. You can see my husband driving his truck into the parking lot in one of the news clips from today. My son has been at FF for 3yrs and has made tremendous progress, through individual and family therapy as well as day treatment. We love the staff at families first and I am saddened that they are taking the heat for this. The staff at FF works very hard in a challenging environment, I have witnessed the care and compassion of those that work there. Sadly there are limitations set upon the staff that prevent them from ensuring that kids do not leave campus, which is when these crimes are committed – off-campus, when a resident has gone “awol”. The kids are well aware of the limits set upon staff and they take advantage. I am thankful my son has no interest in participation or associating with these kids, I suppose that is one positive to him being on the spectrum… in some ways it is protecting him. I also know that staff are very protective of my son as well as other kids in the program, and if given more support would be able to do more to help these kids go down a better path in life. FF encourages parents to attend the training program that staff is required to go through. I personally attended the training program and am very impressed with the training that the staff receive. This is no ordinary program. I know first hand. That is not to say that it is perfect, without flaw (Show me something that is) However, I have no regrets in placing my child in the care of FF, our experience has been positive.

  10. JustSaying

    Thanks for sharing your story, anglives4Him. I’m concerned that the shocking nature of the behavior of those in custody is leading to knee-jerk overreactions about the work of the FamiliesFirst facilities.

    I’d like to see something much more than we’ve learned so far before deciding that “heads need to roll.” Bad things happen all around us. Before we assign blame to folks other than those who committed the crimes, let’s weigh their culpability.

    Then, we can decide whether any heads need to roll at all or whether systems need to change to reduce the chances that this kind of thing will happen again.

  11. ConcernedMother

    I too had a child at the facility… There have been other things happening at the facility. My son was involved with one of them. A worker at the facility with texting my son day and night. By the time I caught what was going on, it had been happening for 3 months. After I brought it up to the facility (and had proof on phone bills), they would not put the woman on leave while the investigation happened. I pulled my son from the facility 3 days later, as I felt he was unsafe. Since he has been gone, not one person has called me from the facility to talk about the situation. I’m sure they just washed their hands of the issue since my son was not living there anymore. Sick! Sick! I’m very concerned for the children there!

  12. anglives4Him

    concernedmother:

    [quote]A worker at the facility with texting my son day and night. By the time I caught what was going on, it had been happening for 3 months. [/quote]

    1. why would your child have a phone while in treatment?
    2. why did it take 3 months for you to find out what was going on?

    as parents with a teen in treatment, we will not allow our son to have a phone until he has completed his program. If/when he does have a phone, it will be closely monitored. It will not take us 3 months to find out what activity is happening on his phone.

    in addition…
    [quote]Since he has been gone, not one person has called me from the facility to talk about the situation.[/quote]

    if you are truly a “concernedmother” why haven’t you followed up on the situation? what action have you taken? or are you just trying to stir up drama and make FF look like they don’t care?

    I often wonder what results could take place if parents were more involved with their children’s treatment. There is only so much a facility like FF can do without family support and involvement. It seems to me that many parents of residents are just looking for someone to “fix their kid” and when it turns out that there is actual work the family can do to help aide in the child’s treatment, they back out, find excuses and ultimately blame the facility. It’s sad.
    While attending a family dinner at Families First in Davis, I was engaged in conversation with another parent. She told me (and I quote) “_____ ran away a few times this weekend, I didn’t know where he was for like 2hrs! but I’m not going to tell his therapist or they might not let him come home on visits”

    I was appalled. How can we expect successful results if we are not honest and transparent? Parents claim they want the best for their kids but are not willing to get involved and do the work on their end.
    We have had to make changes to our parenting styles and our home environment to meet the individual needs of our son. It is not easy, but it is worth it. There are many luxuries my son would love to have (such as a cell phone) but I believe them to be far too distracting and will interfere with his treatment. He has slowly come to accept this, and does not fight it as much as he did in the beginning of treatment.

    I do not understand some parents.

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