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