Report: DHS Supervisor Laughs at Officer Over Sexual Abuse Investigation

Tuesday, October 12th 2010, 4:43 pm
By: News 9

By Adrianna Iwasinski, News 9

ENID, Oklahoma – A police report involving a teen in the Department of Human Services custody raises questions about reports of sexual assault.

According to an un-redacted police report sent to News 9, an Enid police officer responded to a sexual assault call by a 14-year-old boy living at a local boys home known as Sequoyah in July. The report states the officer encountered a lack of follow through when he tried to contact the Department of Human Services caseworkers to remove the boy for his safety, and was even laughed at by one supervisor.

Enid police would not comment on specifics of the case since it is still an ongoing investigation, but said they normally have a good relationship and response from DHS.

Sequoyah is a nonprofit facility that contracts with the Department of Human Services. According to DHS, the home is one of the most restrictive facilities they have and provides 24 hour monitored supervision.

"Most of the children who end up here have had a number of disruptive placements in a less restrictive setting," said Beth Scott, a spokesperson for DHS. "They get group and individual counseling weekly and have a ratio of one staff person per four children."

But, according to the police report, the 14-year-old claims he was assaulted by two other teenage boys at the home, and that the assaults would usually happen in the showers or in a private place where there was no staff around to see. The report also states the boy was tired of all the assaults and tired of being scared.

The report states the Enid police officer who responded to the call tried to contact the boy's caseworker as well as those of his alleged attackers, but was unable to reach them. The report states when he finally did get a hold of a supervisor, that supervisor told the officer she did not see the seriousness of the situation and laughed on the phone, saying there was nothing she could do.

DHS would not comment on the specific case in question, but said even supervisors have supervisors and that they review cases and how they were handled. Those who are concerned about how a case is being handled can also call the DHS hotline at 1-800-522-3511. According to the police report, the Enid police officer did that.