According to WTOP, the FBI and the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department have arrested and federally indicted Kelvin Powell, 61, of the District’s Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS) on charges of sexual abuse of a minor in custody. DYRS is located at 450 H St NW, Washington, DC 20001.
The charges allege that Powell abused a 17-year-old girl while employed as a Youth Development Representative at the facility between December 2021 and February 2022. According to court documents, Powell groped the girl and made inappropriate comments before sexually assault her. The abuse was said to have occurred while Powell was taking her to make phone calls. An investigative report said a review of surveillance camera footage corroborated what the 17-year-old reported to officials. Powell denied claims that he did anything inappropriate.
The FBI and the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department are actively investigating the matter and asking anyone with information on the case to contact them. Powell is facing four counts of sexual abuse of a ward and four counts of abusive sexual contact.
Attorney Laurence Banville is an experienced sexual abuse lawyer representing victims in D.C. During a recent interview, Laurence shared his insight regarding legal rights for victims sexually assaulted while residing in a rehab center.
"Sexual abuse of minors in a youth rehab center is a terrible crime. Rehab centers have a legal responsibility to ensure the safety of their residents while seeking care in the center. It is their duty to implement a security plan to prevent abuse of any kind at the hand of the employees or other inmates. The facility should make reasonable efforts to protect the safety of the patients, such as implementing security protocols, conducting background checks on staff and volunteers, and providing appropriate supervision of the facility."
"It is important to remember that victims of sexual abuse in a youth rehab center have rights, and those rights must be respected. The facility must take reasonable steps to protect its residents, and any failure to do so may result in legal action. Victims should contact an experienced sexual abuse attorney to discuss their rights and potential legal remedies."