AMIkids, Fort Lauderdale Youth Treatment Facility, Under Investigation for Sex Abuse UPDATED
This afternoon, a representative for AMIkids confirmed that the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice was investigating the staffers, described as a full-time employee and an intern.
The same student was involved in both allegations, and according to Sherri Ulleg, director of communications at the company, the male is still active in the Fort Lauderdale facility.
(Updated below with the names of the AMIkids employees under investigation.)
The accusations flung at AMIkids mirror a round of concerns aired by assistant Broward Public Defender Gordon Weekes in a June 26 letter to DJJ Director Wansley Walters (read it below). In the document, Weekes documents two instances of possible sexual misbehavior on the part of AMIkids staffers.
"I think this is something that is so serious it requires immediate attention," Weekes tells New Times. "If this kind of environment is being created where staff members are engaging in predatory behavior, something has to be done."
Weekes' first allegation documented a picture allegedly found of a "female therapist" on the cell phone of a "male youth who attended the program." "The alleged nude photographs were explicit and strongly suggest the existence of an inappropriate and unlawful relationship," the letter stated.
The second allegation said a "female staff member engaged in a sexual relationship with a male youth attending the program." The relationship ended in a supposed pregnancy. The staffer was allegedly known as "cradle robber" to other AMIkids staffers. Weekes' letter states that the administration may have known about both instances.
According to Weekes, he decided to send the letter after hearing separate accounts of the AMIkids' allegations. "It's a violation of a position of trust."
When New Times spoke with AMIkids' Ulleg Monday afternoon, she acknowledged that separate allegations had been made in recent weeks against an employee and an intern involving the same male student. She declined to give details of what the two women were alleged to have done.
"We have been made aware of two separate allegations: that there was an inappropriate relationship between a student and a female intern, and a male student and a female staff member. Both incidents involved the same male student."