Boy Says He Was Molested At Home For Kids

HOUSTON - An 8-year-old boy said he was repeatedly sexually assaulted by two boys at a home for children.

The boy said a 10-year-old and an 11-year-old boy assaulted him at the St. Michael's Home for Children, which is run by Catholic Charities. The home cares for children who are refugees from foreign countries.

Harris County sheriff's deputies said a worker at the home caught a 10-year-old molesting an 8-year-old in July. The 8-year-old later claimed he was also molested by an 11-year-old.

The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, which licenses the home, launched an investigation and found children unsupervised and children acting out inappropriately. Records show a worker supervising children when that worker was actually off the clock.

The federal Office of Refugee Resettlement also launched an investigation. It removed all but five children staying in the home. They were working on new living arrangements for those children.

Investigators said Catholic Charities immediately notified the state of the claims. The state closed its investigation after a technical glitch, but when Catholic Charities inquired about the investigation on July 13, the case was reopened.

Deputies said they were not notified of the alleged incidents until Aug. 5.

"We'd like to have had it a little earlier," Deputy Thomas Gilliand said. "We commend them for coming forward, but it would have been a lot easier to have start from when it happened."

Sources close to the investigation said a staff member may have tried to cover up the alleged incident.

"Corrective actions and concerns later presented by ORR are being addressed, and the St. Michael's employee responsible for those concerns was subsequently terminated," Catholic Charities said in a statement.

Deputies said that once their investigation is complete, they will talk to the district attorney's office to determine if criminal charges will be filed against the boys.

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