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2 girls claim MDC inmates touched them during jail tour

Updated: 09/25/2013 1:16 PM | Created: 09/25/2013 12:00 PM
By: Nikki Ibarra and Elizabeth Reed, KOB Eyewitness News 4

The Metropolitan Detention Center is under investigation after a 16-year-old girl and her friend said they were physically and verbally abused during a facility tour over the weekend.

One of the girls was sent on the tour on behalf of the state's Second Chance Program, which aims to prevent minors from committing crimes by showing them the county jail.

The girl's father told KOB Eyewitness News 4 he plans to sue the two departments for failing to protect the girls. He said MDC and the state's metro teen court dropped the ball and should have never allowed inmates to yell and touch them.

The state's Children, Youth and Families Department told KOB they referred one of the girls to metro teen court after she was found at a party with alcohol. The teen court sent the girl to MDC for the Second Chance tour.

CYFD officials said they do not permit teens to be yelled at or touched and they don't know who gave MDC permission to allow it. Officials said they were never notified about the incident until the dad of one of the girls, Martin Ridens, contacted them.

"She said that one of the girls had asked the guards, 'I didn't think that they were allowed to do this,' and he just kind of shrugged his shoulders," Ridens said.

CYFD said they have never had any concerns with the Second Chance tour until now.

MDC spokesperson Nataura Powdrell told KOB the allegations are under investigation.

"We are attempting to coordinate our fact-finding efforts with those who are in charge of both the Metro Teen Court operation, as well as CYFD," Powdrell wrote in an email to KOB. "So far, we have found nothing to substantiate the allegations, but when the investigation is complete we will let the appropriate individuals know."


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