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Corpun file 26211 at www.corpun.com
koco.com (KOCO-TV), Oklahoma City, 10 July 2015
OKC social worker accused of paddling minors faces charges
By Patty Santos
An Oklahoma City counselor hired to work with minors in the drug and alcohol program is accused of using a wooden paddle to beat them.
David W. Cunningham faces three counts of misdemeanor battery and assault charges.
Oklahoma City attorney Michael Branch said his client and another victim were whipped.
"One was while his pants were pulled down to the bare buttocks," Branch said, "and the other while he was in his boxers."
The victims were taken to a vacant home in southwest Oklahoma City, where Cunningham told them they could face the judge or get paddled, according to Cleveland County court documents.
Police said a minor in one of those cases did not have a violation, but he still got paddled. Documents show that one of the incidents happened this year and the other two happened in 2013, but the victim's mother didn't believe him.
Online records from the Oklahoma State Board of Licensed Social Workers show Cunningham lost his license for having inappropriate behavior with a client in 2009. Court records show the incident involved an adult patient at the Veteran's Administration Medical Center, where Cunningham worked as a social worker.
The Oklahoma Board of Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselors said it currently is investigating Cunningham. The board will have a hearing on Cunningham's case in September.
Cunningham's license expired in late June. Cunningham is also licensed in Texas.
Efforts to reach his attorney were not answered.
Police and Branch believe more victims may be out there.
"Logic dictates that this is a pattern of conduct," Branch said. "We don't know how many individuals are out there."
RELATED VIDEO CLIP
Two-minute news segment from local TV station KOCO (10 July 2015) of which the above report is a slightly edited version. The attorney for one of the alleged spankees is interviewed, and there is a picture of the accused.
HERE IS THE CLIP:
Corpun file 26210 at www.corpun.com
Reuters, 22 July 2015
Counselors being indicted for spanking troubled youths in Boston
By Jacqueline Tempera
BOSTON (Reuters) - Eight former youth workers were being indicted on charges they routinely spanked young men in custody last year at a Boston residential facility to punish them, prosecutors said Wednesday.
The indictments come after a year-long State Police investigation into the Casa Isla Department of Youth Services facility, located on an island in Boston Harbor. The program housed 14- to 19-year-old boys committed by juvenile courts.
Assistant District Attorney Gloriann Moroney told the court the defendants spanked young men at the facility from April to August 2014. The men working at the facility, hired through Volunteers of America, would pull a young man's pants down, and hit his bare buttocks with an orange department-issued sandal, in a game they called "orange chicken," prosecutors said at the arraignment Wednesday.
Victims were targeted if they misbehaved or if they had returned to the facility after being discharged. Moroney said the technique was often used on the eve of a child's release, as a warning not to return.
"The evidence in this case suggests violence and threats meted out under the guise of discipline," Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley said.
Seven of the defendants: Jalise Andrade, 34, Joseph Cintolo, 26, Silvio Depina, 36, Wilkens Jeanty, 40, Hermano Joseph, 24, Ainsley Laroche, 40, and Raymond Pizzaro, 24, were arraigned on the charges Wednesday.
The eighth man, 30-year-old Emmanuel Fedna, is expected to be arraigned Thursday.
Prosecutors charged each of the former workers with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. Joseph, Andrade, Depina and Laroche each face threat and witness intimidation charges. Joseph and Depina are facing additional charges of assault and battery and indecent assault and battery over 14.
"We are cooperating with authorities in every way we can, including turning over 2,300 hours of security camera footage," Stephanie Paauwe, a Volunteers of America Massachusetts spokeswoman said in a statement.
The program has been shut down and its contract with the state terminated.
(Editing by Scott Malone and Eric Walsh)
(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2015.
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