Youth arrested for unlawful sexual contact |

Youth arrested for unlawful sexual contact

Pete FowlerGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. The Garfield County Sheriff’s Office arrested a juvenile male at the Griffith Center for Children in Rifle May 31 on a charge of unlawful sexual contact.A deputy was contacted by the Department of Social Services and advised of a sexual assault that occurred at the youth detention facility. After investigation, one 15-year-old male was arrested on a charge of unlawful sexual contact, according to the sheriff’s blotter report.No further details were available. Community Relations Deputy Tanny McGinnis said the sheriff’s office would not release any documents related to the arrest or investigation, even with the names of juveniles removed, to protect their privacy.”We’re not going to release the report when they’re both juveniles and it’s a sex assault,” she said.The Griffith Center is scheduled to close on June 30 and has already lost $300,000 this year, according to Griffith Centers for Children CEO Howard Shiffman. It’s been operating in Rifle for a little over five years.Shiffman said previously that there have been fewer youth referrals to residential treatment centers, and that retaining professional staff in Rifle has been a challenge. Former child care counselor Charalene Bera, 28, was convicted of sexual assault charges in February for being involved with a 15-year-old and two 17-year-olds who were legally ordered to be at the Rifle center. According to testimony at the trial, she and another counselor told one of the boys they would help him escape.Shiffman has said neither this incident nor any other incidents involving law enforcement have anything to do with the decision to close the center.Contact Pete Fowler: 945-8515, ext. 16611 pfowler@postindependent.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO

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