Teen arrested in alleged sexual assault of Davis group home runaway

Published: Monday, Jun. 10, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 2B
Last Modified: Sunday, Jun. 30, 2013 - 12:23 pm

A teenager was arrested Friday on suspicion of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl who had run away from EMQ FamiliesFirst group home in Davis.

The suspect, a 17-year-old Yolo County boy, was already being held at the juvenile hall Thursday on a warrant from another jurisdiction.

He was arrested Friday on one count of the alleged sexual assault of the runaway.

The incident occurred May 16 at a home in the 1900 block of Lehigh Drive, where the suspect was apparently staying, Davis Lt. Paul Doroshov said. It is unknown how the victim met the suspect, who has no connection with FamiliesFirst.

It was unknown when the victim left the group home or if she was reported missing. Since January, 50 youths have been reported missing from FamiliesFirst. Doroshov said the latest victim was considered away without leave at the time of the alleged crime. She was removed from FamiliesFirst by Child Protective Services Thursday.

The 17-year-old suspect is also being investigated for another sexual assault case involving another female FamiliesFirst resident. The victim in that case was also in her early teens, and the alleged assault also occurred in May. It was not clear Sunday where that incident took place. That victim also was removed from FamiliesFirst on Friday.

The arrest is the second in the past week involving alleged sexual assault of girls living at the FamiliesFirst facility.

Wednesday, police arrested two boys, ages 13 and 14, on suspicion of holding down and raping an 11-year-old girl in a nearby park.

All three were residents of the FamiliesFirst group home for youths in Davis.

Doroshov said Davis police are investigating up to six open cases of sexual assault involving FamiliesFirst residents in April and May.

"Every time we have an allegation, we open up a new case," he said.

At this point, it is not clear how many victims or suspects are involved, or if they were all the result of forcible rape. However, due to the ages of the parties involved, the cases may be classified as statutory rape even if there was consent.

"We can only wonder why there is the sudden upsurge of cases for this kind of behavior," Doroshov said.

So far, 10 youths have been removed from the FamiliesFirst facility. "We are concerned about the safety of these kids in the facility," Doroshov said. "We're also concerned about the danger they can get into if they get out."

Call The Bee's Tillie Fong, (916) 321-1006.

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