Two boys arrested in alleged rape of girl, 11; all reside at Davis group home

Published: Friday, Jun. 7, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 1B
Last Modified: Sunday, Jun. 30, 2013 - 12:23 pm

Two teenage boys were arrested by Davis police Wednesday on suspicion of raping an 11-year-old girl over the weekend.

The boys, ages 13 and 14, were taken to Yolo County juvenile hall. The girl reported that she had been held down and forcibly raped, police said.

Officials are not releasing the names of the individuals because they are minors. The three lived at FamiliesFirst, a group home in the 2100 block of Fifth Street.

"This is a very complex investigation. We're still trying to sort through an abundance of information," said Davis Police Lt. Glenn Glasgow.

The sexual assault allegedly occurred at a park and not at the juvenile facility. Police said other juveniles from the home were present, but their involvement is unclear.

Authorities said the juveniles are supposed to be supervised at all times, but none of the FamiliesFirst staff was around when the incident occurred. In interviews with investigators, the two teens admitted they had engaged in other illegal activity such as shoplifting, theft and fighting, police said.

"There are other victims and possibly other suspects," Glasgow said.

Authorities are revealing few details about the case because the parties are all underage. Several children from the home have been taken into protective custody.

Yolo County Chief Deputy District Attorney Jonathan Raven said in a statement that the "case has not yet been reviewed for a charging decision."

"In this case, with a juvenile, everything is confidential," Raven said.

The FamiliesFirst home, located less than a mile from Davis police headquarters, is a sprawling facility with multiple buildings.

On Thursday, youngsters were seen freely milling about the grass. Glasgow said most of the children have some type of "special need" and were placed there by family members or courts.

Staff members declined to comment on the case.

In a written statement, FamiliesFirst said it is "fully cooperating with the investigation."

Based in Campbell, the private nonprofit operates in more than 30 counties across California and is "one of the largest, most comprehensive mental health treatment programs in the country," according to its website.

Yolo County spokeswoman Beth Gabor said no kids from the county reside at the home.

The alleged rape is the latest in a series of crimes to rock the troubled group home.

Officials said other minors who live at FamiliesFirst were arrested for serious assault offenses in the last two weeks.

Davis police have fielded more than 500 service calls from the facility this year, according to the department. In addition, more than 100 reports of juveniles running away from the home have been documented.

"It's a depletion of resources," Glasgow said. "It shows there's an issue that needs to be addressed."

Police estimate 55 to 60 youths lived at the facility. When it first received its license in November 1995, it had capacity for 72 residents, according to the state Department of Social Services, the agency that oversees the group home.

"It's not a case where we go out there every year. A comprehensive inspection takes place once every five years," said Michael Weston, spokesman for the Department of Social Services, when asked about the licensing process.

At this point, no criminal charges have been filed against FamiliesFirst or its staffers. The Yolo County Department of Social Services and the District Attorney's Office continue to investigate the incident.

Call The Bee's Richard Chang, (916) 321-1018. Follow him on Twitter @RichardYChang.

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