Lawsuit: Desert Hills staff used 'booty juice' to control children | KOB 4

Lawsuit: Desert Hills staff used 'booty juice' to control children

Megan Abundis
August 13, 2019 10:08 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Once again, Desert Hills is involved with another case of alleged child abuse in New Mexico. The youth home in northwest Albuquerque was meant to provide kids and teens with treatment and care. 


The state shut down Desert Hills four months ago, but the lawsuits keep coming. 

The most recent lawsuit involves something called "booty juice" and how it was allegedly used to control children. The lawsuit states that the alleged victim was just 10 years old. 

He was getting treatment at Desert Hills for severe temper outbursts. An attorney representing the boy's guardians says Desert Hills staff overdosed the boy with a drug that was supposed to calm him down. 

The lawsuit states the child had been in restraints for one hour before he was injected with Haldol, an antipsychotic drug that lowers excitement in the brain. 

According to the lawsuit, Desert Hills staff referred to Haldol as "booty juice" because it was often injected in the rear end. The lawsuit also states that Haldol was inappropriate for the child's age and that he overdosed on the drug. 

The boy then became "paralyzed and could barely speak" so he was taken to the hospital. 

This is not the first time Desert Hills staff has been accused of abuse. There have been numerous complaints of sexual and physical abuse at the facility

On Tuesday, attorney Michael Hart released a statement: 

"This is another case of child mistreatment at Desert Hills. Virtually anyone who worked at Desert Hills in the last few years and virtually any child who was placed there can recall how “booty juice” was used to control the children, and was a constant threatened consequence for misbehavior. We have reason to believe the officials from CYFD who finally closed Desert Hills, and the experts from Disability Rights New Mexico who assisted CYFD during that process have substantial knowledge and documented information about this practice at Desert Hills. Because the detailed information is largely contained in confidential medical information in children’s mental health records, the formal judicial process will be necessary to uncover the whole story." 

The lawsuit named Desert Hills, staff members and Acadia Healthcare as defendants. 

The Desert Hills building has sat empty since April 1. CYFD told KOB 4 that Acadia Healthcare hasn't shown any interest in opening any other facilities in the state. 

KOB 4 reached out to everyone listed on the lawsuit, but has not received any response. 


Megan Abundis

Copyright 2019 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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