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Crime, Law and Justice
Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Washington Legislature. Austin Jenkins is the Olympia correspondent for the Northwest News Network. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) weekly public affairs program "Inside Olympia."

Washington DSHS Faced With Third Case Of Staff Sex With Juvenile Offender

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Washington DSHS
Aerial photo of Green Hill School in Chehalis, Washington. A female counselor at the facility is accused of having sex with a male resident.

For the third time in less than a year, a Washington state employee has been accused of having sex with a juvenile offender. The most recent arrest happened this week at a state juvenile lock-up in Chehalis.

In this latest case, a female counselor at the Green Hill School is accused of having sex with a male resident. According to charging documents the relationship may have resulted in her getting pregnant.

This follows another incident in December when the top administrator at a state juvenile transition facility in Richland -- also a woman -- was arrested for allegedly having a sexual relationship with a male teen offender there.

Last May, a female security officer at another transition facility in Woodinville was charged after police found evidence she had sex with a juvenile offender.

John Clayton, head of Washington’s Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration, said all staff are trained on boundaries and on the federal Prison Rape Elimination Act.

“To have three cases where employees have clearly violated those boundaries, it’s surprising,” he said.

Clayton said his agency is looking at steps it can take to prevent future staff sexual misconduct. All three women face criminal charges.