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Alleged sexual harassment, poor conditions force teen group home's closure

Jen French
June 28, 2017 10:19 PM

CLOVIS, N.M. — Alleged deplorable conditions, neglect, and sexual comments from staff toward teens forced the Children Youth and Families Department’s Licensing and Certification Authority to close New Visions Group Home in Clovis.

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State inspectors discovered the home that was supposed to help teenage boys and girls may have actually been hurting them. New Visions Group Home was home to eight teenage girls and nine teenage boys, all between the ages of 14 to 19.

This past March, the state filed a motion to revoke the youth group home’s certification and forced it to shut down. The revocation comes after allegations of sparse window coverings, old mattresses and even the adult staff making lewd comments toward the teenage girls.

State documents obtained by 4 Investigates reveal David Jackson, the sole therapist and part owner, of New Visions Group Home allegedly told a teenage girl living there that she “had a nice butt,” and stared at her breasts. He’s also accused of giving her a box of condoms as a gift.

Jackson is also accused of telling other teenage residents they “looked slutty” and even telling one “she was going to be good at being a whore.”

CYFD spokesperson Henry Varela tells 4 Investigates there were numerous regulatory deficiencies and neglect allegations that were being probed by the state as early as March 2016. CYFD’s probing of the private group home eventually led to the home losing its contract with CYFD.

"We immediately got them [the teenagers] relocated to other areas and then the program,” Varela said. “The facility was then closed down."

Youth also claimed former employee Christopher Thompson gave gifts and wrote letters to the girls. Teens told state investigators that he was in a relationship with one of the girls. The group home eventually fired Thompson.

KOB-TV requested to speak to Thompson, but he did not want to speak to media. As of Wednesday evening, KOB-TV is still waiting for a response from Jackson.

"It's very disappointing that something like this happened," Varela said. "You have instances in communities—whether it's a community like Clovis or Albuquerque—these communities really look to these providers to provide the help and assistance to the youth who are placed there"

The group home owners have the legal right to request to be recertified. Varela said based on the home’s prior history it’s not likely that New Visions Group Home will reopen—even under a different name. 

Clovis Police also investigated claims against staff. However, the district attorney in Curry County has yet to file charges against Jackson or Thompson. At this time, the men do not face any criminal charges relating to New Visions Group Home. 

Credits

Jen French

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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