17-year-old commits suicide in group home after assault at DOC halfway house


TONIGHT… NEWS THREE INVESTIGATES HOW A YOUNG DANE COUNTY WOMAN… BECAME A VICTIM WHEN NO ONE WAS WATCHING. — CHARLOTTE — ABOUT A YEAR AGO… FOUR MEN WERE CHARGED WITH THE GANG RAPE OF A 17-YEAR-OLD IN THE TOWN OF BLOOMING GROVE. TONIGHT, WE HAVE NEW INFORMATION ON THAT VICTIM.. AND LAPSES IN SUPERVISION THAT ALLOWED IT TO HAPPEN. –ANIMATION– NEWS 3’S JESSICA ARP INVESTIGATES A CASE THAT IS SHINING A LIGHT TONIGHT ON KEY SAFETY MEASURES IN OUR COMMUNITY. PACKAGE P- 1 SOT (((JESSICA ARP/REPORTING)))”This story begins with the end: A 17-year-old girl died. Her cause of death was suicide. But the circumstances that led up to her death are much more complicated. She was in two situations– two homes in Dane County, including this one– where people who should have been, News 3 has learned, simply weren’t watching.” 2 VO/MINI-DISC THE FIRST HOME… IS AT 3150 SAINT PAUL AVENUE. AN APARTMENT IN THE TOWN OF BLOOMING GROVE… WHERE SHERIFF DAVE MAHONEY’S DEPUTIES RESPONDED TUESDAY, JULY 12TH OF 20-16… AFTER A REPORT OF A SEXUAL ASSAULT. 2 SOT :45 (((DAVE MAHONEY/DANE COUNTY SHERIFF)))”we learned there had been a party hosted at a apartment that was actually housing individuals under doc supervision :58 as sexual predators :01 3 VO/MINI-DISC COURT DOCUMENTS SHOW THE 17-YEAR-OLD GIRL SMOKED WEED AND TOOK ECSTASY… WAS TAKEN TO THAT PARTY… AND TOLD BY THE THREE MEN WHO LIVED THERE… AND ANOTHER WHO BROUGHT HER… THAT “SHE WANTED THIS.” SHE REPORTED BEING REPEATEDLY RAPED… ONE OFFENDER ARRESTED FOR THE CRIME SAID THEY WERE “TAKING TURNS”… AND THAT THE GIRL WAS “TOSSED AROUND LIKE A RAG DOLL”… AND ESTIMATED SHE WAS ASSAULTED 11 TIMES. 3 VO/MINI-DISC THE APARTMENTS WHERE IT HAPPENED… WERE EMERGENCY HOUSING FOR SEX OFFENDERS JUST RELEASED FROM PRISON… A PLACE THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS SAYS *WAS* USED FOR OFFENDERS AT RISK OF HOMELESSNESS… BUT DOCUMENTS RELEASED TO NEWS THREE BY THE D-O-C… SHOW THAT REGULAR DAILY MONITORING OF OFFENDERS *AT THIS HOME* DID NOT HAPPEN. 3 SOT 12:21 (((MAHONEY)))”you had to rely upon one another, one predator, in charge of watching another one, so kind of like putting the wolf inside the henhouse :32 3 VO/MINI-DISC SEX OFFENDERS… WERE ONLY SEEN IN OCCASIONAL HOME VISITS OVER THE YEAR PRIOR TO THE ASSAULT. AND THEY KNEW WHEN AGENTS WERE COMING…. WITH NEARLY ALL VISITS SCHEDULED AHEAD OF TIME. THERE WAS AN AGENT AT THE HOME THE DAY OF THE ALLEGED ASSAULT… MEETING WITH REGINALD PATTON TO MOVE HIM IN. PATTON WAS LATER ONE OF FOUR MEN CHARGED IN THE CASE. 1 SOT NATS FROM HILER HEARING 2 VO/MINI-DISC ANOTHER OFFENDER CHARGED… STEPHON HILER… HAS ALREADY PLEADED GUILTY TO HIS ROLE IN THE ASSAULT. HIS ATTORNEY SAYS HE HAS COGNITIVE ISSUES… D-O-C DOCUMENTS NOTE HE COULD NOT READ OR WRITE. 2 SOT 3:25 (((MICHAEL COVEY/ATTORNEY FOR STEPHON HILER)))”it’s a travesty what happened :27 but part of the blame lies in them putting this cognitively disabled person inside this facility with no one to supervise them :36 2 VO/MINI-DISC HILER’S ATTORNEY MICHEL COVEY SAYS HE’LL ASK FOR A SHORTER SENTENCE IN PART BECAUSE HE SAYS D-O-C BEARS SOME RESPONSIBILITY FOR WHAT HAPPENED. 2 SOT (((COVEY)))4 :26 there were drugs being used, lots of sex happening in this building, that’s from the police reports, that’s from witness testimony, that’s from the investigation, it was animal house :36 1 VO/MINI-DISC THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS DECLINED OUR REPEATED REQUESTS FOR INTERVIEWS… IN A STATEMENT… THEY TELL US THEY’RE NO LONGER USING THIS HOUSE… OR ANY EMERGENCY HOUSING IN DANE COUNTY. INSTEAD THEY’RE USING “TRANSITIONAL HOUSING” PROGRAMS. A SPOKESMAN SAYS THEIR POLICY *NOW IS THAT “CONTRACTED STAFF MUST CONDUCT THREE SITE CHECKS PER DAY IN ADDITION TO REGULAR HOME VISITS FROM PROBATION AND PAROLE AGENTS.” 3 SOT (((Jessica arp/reporting)))But the question remains why the department of corrections wasn’t regularly monitoring this residence before this happened. The department would not tell us if anyone was disciplined or fired…Or release any internal investigation results to us. And you should know that if you map where 3150 saint paul avenue is from the department of corrections headquarters…It’s so close… You could walk there. 3 SOT 3:56 (((JENNIFER GINSBURG/SAFE HARBOR)))it never should have happened and the fact that it was able to happen is, you’re just kind of left dumbfounded :06 4 VO/MINI-DISC JENNIFER GINSBURG WORKS WITH SAFE HARBOR CHILD ADVOCACY CENTER… AND IS FAMILIAR WITH THIS CASE… AND THE VICTIM. 4 SOT 8:29 (((GINSBURG)))we have a teenager that was victimized by two failed systems :33 2 VO/MINI-DISC THE OTHER HOME IN THIS STORY… WAS A DANE COUNTY GROUP HOME… THE SPOHN AVENUE HOUSE FOR GIRLS…. WHICH IS NOW CLOSED. THE 17-YEAR-OLD VICTIM WAS LIVING THERE AT THE TIME OF THE ASSAULT. ACCORDING TO DOCUMENTS PROVIDED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES. THE VICTIM REPORTED THE RAPE TO A STAFF MEMBER AT 1-30AM ON JULY 8TH. IT WASN’T UNTIL THE VICTIM TOLD THE GROUP HOME DIRECTOR 9 HOURS LATER… THAT POLICE WERE CALLED. THEN… ONE MONTH LATER… ON AUGUST 5TH, 2016… THE VICTIM HUNG HERSELF FROM A ROD IN HER CLOSET. SHE LATER DIED AT THE HOSPITAL. 2 SOT 9:47 (((GINSBURG)))”we know that kids who are sexually assaulted are much more likely to have suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts :09 and its awful that a group home should be a place where we’re unable to stop a sucide from happening :11 3 VO/MINI-DISC THE GROUP HOME WAS CITED BY THE STATE… FOR VIOLATING ABUSE AND NEGLECT REPORTING REQUIREMENTS… FOR NOT REPORTING THE RAPE IMMEDIATELY. AND THEN IN OCTOBER…ISSUED ANOTHER ORDER… SAYING THE HOME “FAILED TO PROIVDE A SAFE, STABLE AND HUMANE ENVIRONMENT”. RATHER THAN TAKE CORRECTIVE ACTION… THE GROUP HOME CHOSE TO CLOSE IT’S DOORS. 3 SOT 6:21 (((GINSBURG)))”I think what it shows is that it needs to be rigorous and really in either of these places :30 that both of those settings need rigorous training, supervision 4 VO/MINI-DISC THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF ORION FAMILY SERVICES… HUGH MYERS… DECLINED OUR INTERVIEW REQUEST… BUT SAID THE DISCUSSIONS TO CLOSE THE HOME WERE ALREADY UNDERWAY… AND THAT STATE RECORDS REFLECT A “HIGHLY INACCURATE ASSESSMENT OF THE SITUATION”… 1 VO/MINI-DISC THOSE IN THE COMMUNITY SAY THEIR HOPE IS THAT THE RIGHT PEOPLE ARE WATCHING NEXT TIME. 4 SOT 7:48(((GINSBURG)))” I know that the only way for this tragedy to not be completely in vain is for there to be changes :57 1 VO/MINI-DISC NEWS 3 REACHED OUT TO THE FAMILY OF THE VICTIM… WHO DECLINED COMMENT… BUT HAS RETAINED AN ATTORNEY. FOR NEWS 3 INVESTIGATES, I’M JESSICA ARP. 2 SHOT — CHARLOTTE — WHILE THE D-O-C TELLS US THAT THEY’RE NO LONGER USING EMERGENCY HOUSING IN DANE COUNTY.. THEY CONTINUE TO USE OTHER LOCATIONS ACROSS THE STATE.. OF WHICH THERE ARE MORE THAN 50.

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