Former employee alleges group home contracted by DHS allowed sexual abuse to happen

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OKLAHOMA CITY - There are new developments in a rape incident that happened in a group home contracted by DHS.

Last month, police arrested a 17-year-old boy accused of raping a 13-year-old boy with the mental capacity of a young child.

“These two young men shared a room there at this home. The 17-year-old apparently forced himself upon the 13-year-old, sexually assaulted him several times," said MSgt. Gary Knight.

Now, we’ve learned about a previous incident with a different victim on which the district attorney declined to file charges.

Court records show the 17-year-old was arrested in February after he allegedly raped another group home resident, "forcing the victim to bend over a washing machine”.

District Attorney David Prater told NewsChannel 4 Tuesday afternoon the investigation into the latest incident is still open.

NewsChannel 4 spoke exclusively with a former employee at the shelter that said the supervisors should have done something after the 17-year-old was arrested for raping a boy at the group home the first time.

“They’ve been abused. They’ve been abusers. They need a safe environment to be in. Speck Homes is not a safe environment,” the former employee said.

He worked at the group home on North Lincoln for three years, but he quit in June after he said a new program director let things get out of control.

“These are boys that are in trouble with the law. They’ve been removed from their home by a court for sexual offenses, and he’s giving them more freedom, and I think they’re not able to handle that," he said.

“Everyone is familiar with his behavior. With his history, he should not have been allowed to sleep around other children,” the former employee said.

The program director, Mike McPherson, wouldn’t say much of anything Tuesday when we called him: “Any questions pertaining to him, due to confidentiality, I can’t answer any questions of that nature."

The former employee is worried the kids at the home won’t get rehabilitated by the time they turn 18 and will likely end up back in the criminal justice system as adults.

“Thank God that Channel 4 got involved and is speaking for those kids are getting abused there and can’t speak for themselves,” he said.

DHS officials said they investigated Speck Homes after the February rape allegation and found the staff committed caretaker misconduct.

They didn’t follow policy and weren’t watching the kids closely enough.

Now, the 17-year-old is back in DHS custody, and he’s in a group home in Tulsa.

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