A former youth center intern says he was told to discard the note

Concord, New Hampshire (AP) — A former intern at the Juvenile Training School in New Hampshire says the supervisor has proposed destroying her notes and lying about allegations of teenage sexual assault. She reported the boy’s allegations to state investigators and police, but was not included in the annual report submitted by state authorities to the federal government.

Mary Goddard spent two days a week at the Sunnu Youth Service Center in 2017 and 2018 as part of her master’s degree at the University of New Hampshire. The Manchester facility, formerly known as the Youth Development Center, has been subject to extensive criminal investigations since July 2019, with more than 200 men and women having up to 150 children last year. Participated in a lawsuit for being physically or sexually abused. Staff from 1963 to 2018.

Goddard said he had provided personalized counseling to a 17-year-old boy in October 2017 and said he had been sexually abused by a former counselor who was facing criminal accusations related to another teenager at the time. .. In that case, the counselor later pleaded guilty to witnessing a misdemeanor sexual assault and tampering with a judicial transaction in which prosecutors withdrew 22 other charges, including 12 of rape.

Goddard said the supervisor she approached replied, “Well, she’s not here anymore, so he’s not in danger.” A few hours later, he told her to call the Central Intakes Department of the State’s Children, Youth and Family Department to report her allegations. But when she asked him what to do with her notes from the counseling session, he told her to “remove them,” she said.

“I said,’There are active criminal cases. Should I keep these if I’m charged against her? What if I’m summoned?” Goddard said. .. “He said,’Oh, I can tell them I don’t remember what happened.'”

Under state law, it is illegal to modify or destroy evidence that you know that an investigation is pending or is about to be initiated with the intent of impairing its use in such investigations.

Francis Williams, a criminal justice professor at Plymouth State University, said he wasn’t a lawyer and didn’t have all the facts, so he couldn’t comment on whether it was a crime to destroy the notes. However, he said in general, supervisors should have known that such notes could be subject to subpoenas.

“I see it very badly. The idea is that the supervisor tells her to discard the note. And” Tell me what you don’t remember? “Excuse me? “He said,” He lied to her, at least initially to the investigators, and perhaps to a court that could be at risk of being charged with perjury if she was summoned. I’m basically telling you to lie. “

Ignoring the proposal to throw away the notes, Goddard first described the case in his diary and final treatise submitted to UNH as part of his internship. She provided a copy of the treatise to the Associated Press for review, along with an email confirming that she had met state investigators and state police in November 2017.

There was no additional charge for the former counselor. Her lawyer, Kathy Green, declined to comment on the new allegations last month, other than saying “there was a complete investigation that interviewed many.”

A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services also refused to comment on Goddard’s account, other than pointing out the Youth Center’s ombudsman program for receiving complaints and policies that require staff to document interactions with residents. did. Questions about allegations of abuse were referred to in an annual report submitted by the department as part of the Federal Prison Rape Eradication Act.

However, while these reports refer to allegations that led to the conviction of a former counselor, Filing states that no allegations of sexual assault were reported in 2017. Separately, a 2018 U.S. Department of Justice audit found that the Center had more than 43 standards related to compliance with federal law. We interviewed 12 randomly selected residents and two who filed sexual harassment allegations.

“Every resident knew multiple ways to report abuse and was very confident that the reports they made would be properly addressed by the facility manager,” the auditor wrote. I will. “People feel very safe at SYSC and believe that staff care about their well-being and safety and will thoroughly investigate allegations of sexual abuse.”

But that is incompatible with Goddard’s recollection. She did not witness physical or sexual abuse, but she said a culture of defense and boredom pervaded the facility. She praised some of the staff as devoted and compassionate, but said, “There was certainly a very popular culture and atmosphere overall. These kids are bad, and they tell them. It deserves to be happening, and they just need to learn, “she said.

“Children will repeatedly tell me,’I’m going to be a child, not an adult, and no one believes in a child,'” she said. “The longer I stayed there, the more depressed I was about being there because I could see the despair and helplessness of these children.”

Goddard Associated Press article About civil lawsuits. Asked why he decided to make it public, Goddard shed tears and apologized to the teens he met at the center.

“I’m really sorry to see you and how you’re hurt. I couldn’t do anything. I didn’t want to do it, I want to do what I can do now.” “Know that I saw your pain and how you were hurt. I’m sorry.”