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Sexual assault investigation at camp for troubled teens

Baldwin County Sheriff's Office Baldwin County Sheriff's Office
BALDWIN COUNTY, AL (WALA) -

A 15-year-old has been charged with Assault 2nd degree and Rape 1st after officials say he raped an employee at a youth camp in Baldwin County.

The Baldwin County Sheriff's Office, along with the Baldwin County District Attorney's Office and the Chairman of the Baldwin County County Commission held a press conference today to discuss an active investigation and arrest regarding an alleged sexual assault which they say took place at the Baldwin County Wilderness Residential Center in Lottie.

According to officials, an employee at the camp was allegedly sexually assaulted by a 15-year-old male who is a resident at the camp.

Deputies responded to the scene and detained the suspect. The victim was transported to North Baldwin Infirmary.

During their investigation, authorities say the attack happened in the mid-morning hours on Tuesday, December 22, after the victim saw the juvenile suspect walking alone on a nature trail adjacent to one of their buildings.

They say when the victim approached the suspect in the woods, she was then assaulted.

The 15-year-old was arrested and subsequently charged with Assault 2nd degree and Rape 1st. A hearing was held this morning and the court ordered the teen to be detained pending further judicial hearings. 

The Baldwin County Resident Wilderness Program is a camp for troubled teens recommended by the court system. Non-violent offenders are sent to the program.

The facility recently underwent a $1.9 million renovation. The expansion, which went $300,000 over budget, was made due to the growing need to house males as well as females and to cover the cost of staffing.

The new building and staffing requirements are for a 16 bed facility for teenage girls entering the program. Teen boys are housed in a separate 32-bed facility.

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