Young resident reported forced sex with a peer in an understaffed classroom

The Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services Office of Licensing received a report from Harbor Point Brighton Behavioral Health Center that a resident alleged another resident “forced them to have oral and anal sex while at school.” The resident reportedly stated that “the teacher was around the corner at the time of the incident working with other children in the class.”

The Office of Licensing initiated an investigation that included reviewing records from the facility and a local hospital, along with interviewing staff and contacting the local police department detective assigned to the case.

This investigation revealed that Resident #1, the victim, was transported to the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters after the incident and “did have some evidence of peri anal laceration and petechiae to the upper pallet.” In an interview, the Program Director indicated that after review of videotape, the facility had concluded that “evidence shows that something did occur between the residents.” The facility’s investigation also determined that the facility’s Education Coordinator “had failed to follow revised agency protocol of having [mental health technician (MHT)] staff stationed inside classroom. … [T]hey had been compliant, but failed to do so on date of incident.”

The Office of Licensing investigation concluded that “there was sufficient staff available to provide adequate supervision; however the Education Coordinator failed to ensure proper supervision occurred at time of incident by not assigning MHT staff to classroom as required.” The Education Coordinator and classroom teacher were both terminated as a result of the incident, even though the teacher did not have the support of an MHT in the classroom as required.

Additionally, the Office of Licensing investigation concluded that “[t]here was no evidence that the Portsmouth Department of Social Services were notified of possible neglect of residents even though the incident was both investigated and founded for neglect by staff.” The allegation of threats/intimidation/rape was referred to the Portsmouth Police Department for further investigation.