Alleged victim of abuse at local state facility speaks out - KXXV Central Texas News Now


Alleged victim of abuse at local state facility speaks out

By Christine McCarthy

ARLINGTON- An alleged victim of abuse at a state facility for the mentally and developmentally disabled is home in Arlington as the investigation continues.

Seventeen-year-old Warren Bell, of Arlington, was at the Mexia State Supported Living Center for about 15 months. After he was involved in stealing a car last year, a judge found him incompetent, put him on juvenile probation and sent him to the facility for treatment, Warren's mother, Lucretia, said.

"They said he has bipolar [disorder], nervousness and a little schizophrenia," Lucretia said.

Soon after arriving, Warren began having problems with staff.

"He pulled my hair out... He bit my head. I had a bruise here," Warren said about a staff member.

Lucretia said she received many letters and phone calls from Mexia State School employees telling her about alleged abuse.

"I had many nights where I couldn't sleep thinking they might beat my son or kill him," Lucretia said.

After more than a year of allegations of abuse, Lucretia went to pick up Warren last Friday for what she thought would just be a couple days.

"At first I said just for the weekend, but then I had to evaluate myself," Lucretia said. "How would you send your child back to some place like that?"

The Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) is investigating allegations of sexual abuse, neglect and exploitation stemming from an incident at Mexia State School on Sept. 11, when staff members reported seeing a psychological assistant leave campus with a resident. That psychological assistant resigned.

Warren says she took him off campus that day to buy him marijuana and have sex with him. He said he knew what he was doing was wrong but he felt pressured.

"She went to go buy some weed. Then she went to the store, and then went to the park. And that's where it all happened, at the park," Warren said. "She wanted to have sex and bring me drugs."

Lucretia has no plans to return her son to the facility but they are both worried they will get in trouble with the law. Lucretia is seeking permission from Warren's probation officer to keep him home.

DADS says there have been 1,253 allegations of abuse, exploitation and neglect at Mexia State School from January 1 to August 31. Fifty of those cases were confirmed, according to press officer Cecilia Cavuto. Cavuto says that number is not unusual for a facility of its kind because of the agency's very high reporting standards for staff members. 

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