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  • Posted May 19, 2014 by

    False Allegations of Child Abuse in NYS-Funded Facility Could Result in Lawsuit for Civil Rights Violation

    In September 2012 I was working at a state-funded private facility that cared for at-risk youthful offenders. I was accosted by a resident at the facility following breaking up a fight and issuing consequences. This was not well-received by one of the residents and he hit me and attempted to tackle me to break through a door that was not secure. All doors at this particular building were supposed to be locked because this was designated a Critical Care unit per NYS OCFS. As I defended myself only by shifting my weight and proceeded to restrain the young man, who was 6'3" and 275lb, my co-worker stood by and did nothing to assist. A restraint is issued at these facilities when the youths presents a risk of harm to themselves and others, it is a safety issue (not to mention he was striking and attempting to tackle me). There were also no cameras, as is a standard in these state-funded facilities; should there have been, I would have been exonerated of any wrongdoing immediately and this would not have been an issue.

    Following the incident, more than a dozen people 'came forward' and they gave varying accounts of me 'picking up this 6'3" 275lb 15yr old over my head TWICE and slamming him face-first into the floor and punching him'
    However, these accounts varied greatly and most of these individuals were not even in the room or the building at the time of the alleged incident.

    Following these fantastic claims, one would expect there to be severe injuries (broken bones, contusions, abrasions, erythemia, head injuries, etc...) or worse...SOMETHING, right? However, there was not a scratch on him, because it didn't happen. My restraint was justified and textbook for the situation I was in.

    I was told the Child Protective Service (CPS) had been notified, but was not worried because the truth always prevails, right? Mmm-hmm... I was rushed off the campus and summarily fired and charged with 6 different types of child abuse(endangerment, abuse, maltreatment, misconduct, etc...) under NYS Social Services Administrative Law. There was no involvement by law enforcement, which surprised me. They would have clearly seen I did not do this.

    Over the next year, I received multiple piles of scathing reports from the state about the crime I did not commit. No lawyer I talked to(and this was several dozen) would take my case. I was shunned by much of my family, as people who abuse children are regarded as the scum of society, I do as well. But being falsely accused places one in a nasty disposition.

    During this time I analyzed the reports carefully, extrapolated all of the data that did not corroborate with other reports, and focused on the glaring discrepancies. No-one else was going to help me, so I had no choice but to envelope myself in the minutia of the allegations. After 15 months, 2 days before Christmas, I had my appearance. Now this is referred to as an appeal, because the state agency, OCFS, has the ability to call a person guilty and this is the standing until it is overturned. Yes, that is correct, big-time violation of the rights afforded us under our constitutional amendments - the 5th, 6th, and due process clause of the 18th.

    Upon walking into the courtroom and at the beginning of the 'appeal', it was obvious the cards were stacked high against me: the administrative judge worked for CPS, the prosecutor worked for CPS, I was not allowed my subpoenaed witnesses, I had not been allowed to depose my witnesses or those against me, I had not been furnished a list of the prosecution's witnesses... this was a sham of a railroad job if I'd ever seen one! I knew I would lose.

    I spent 6 hrs litigating pro se, referencing witnesses and former job references that were not allowed, putting the credibility of all of the witnesses into question, in fact proving they lied per their statements. My work in investigations for the federal government following my 8yrs active duty in the military helped me out tremendously. In March 2014, I finally received the notification that I had won the hearing and all charges were vacated. Wow, 18 months... time gone, the inability to gain employment, the stigma of being called a child abuser, the liars had been silenced, but they still have their jobs, they still have their false sense of security, they're still backed by NYS OCFS, they didn't have their backs turned on them by dozens of family members.

    So, I have been told I have one recourse here, a federal 1983 hearing for a violation of my civil rights, not having been afforded the opportunity to face my accusers(Gestapo-type trial) and having my rights to due process impeded (18 months on the State Central Register as a registered child abuser).

    This also raises the question of what people working in these facilities are and aren't allowed to do. The youthful offenders run the show while the workers' hands are often tied, because they are threatened they will be charged with child abuse. These young people know how to play the system and do it daily. This is a major issue in our state legislature and has severe legal consequences. Need I remind you that a dozen people, to include one executive administrator blatantly lied in an attempt to have me fired and charged with child abuse. There is more than enough evidence to support the fact there was collusion and a conspiracy to do this. There was some level of organization to this, as most of the false accusers were staff and they did not like me due to the fact I was a strict disciplinarian. This was even admitted in a few of the reports by the same individuals. Yet, I am told there is nothing I can do to the institution or the individuals, legally-speaking.

    I am abhorred by the gross miscarriage of justice in my case and have learned of many others state-wide. This has to stop and it begins with our voters and ends with our state legislature and those executive officials who put these laws into practice. The state and the specific agency refuse to comment on the case. As soon as the allegations were submitted, I was told by employees I still have contact with that it was 'hushed-up' rather quickly by senior executives in the agency. Injustices such as this must not go unnoticed and allowed to continue to occur.

    I may be reached at the email address given, studguinea@hotmail.com for further comment.

    Thank you.

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