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Abuse claims lead to removal of teens from detention facility

Claims of choking, punching, pepper spraying, and other abuse by officers lead to family court judge ordering 12 teens be removed

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Updated: 7/24 11:20 am
LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3) -- Parents complain that many of the kids convicted of crimes and sent to juvenile detention facilities in Elko and Caliente endured cruel and unusual punishment, and it appears a family court judge agrees.

Jennifer Boxley says her teen son, D’Mycole, was abused and could have been killed at a state-run detention facility in Elko. D’Mycole is one of several Clark County teens at the center of Family Court Judge William Voy’s order to pull 12 Clark County teens from the facility. Boxley says her son was subjected to choking, punching, and having his head banged against the wall.

“There were boys pepper sprayed gasping for air, and the kids banging on windows for them to stop,” Boxley said.

Boxley said D'mycole told her he was hogtied, three to four days at a time. She also claims he would occasionally be left in a room for several days to urinate on himself, being told that he wasn’t allowed to tell detention officers when he needed to use the bathroom.

“He would tell me, ‘I want to run. I’m afraid they’re going to kill me and do something to me. I want to run,’” Boxley said. “They told him on different occasions that he would end up being in room and left there, and that nobody would ever find him, and they’ll tell [everyone ] that he ran.”

A source told News 3 the first reports of abuse came in December 2013, but nothing happened. Other teens have told their parents stories like D’Mycole told his mom. Al Lasso, the attorney of one such teen, says his client lost eyesight and suffered brain damage from a blow to the head.

"This one of the most egregious cases of child abuse and attempted murder by persons in a position of trust that I have ever seen,” Lasso said. “We will be filing our lawsuit shortly."

“You can’t get away with this,” Boxley said. “You can’t abuse our children and we have nothing to say about it.

According to Boxley, Judge Voy himself went to the Elko facility to investigate the claims of abuse.

“They admitted it,” Boxley said. “They blatantly admitted it.”

All employees of the state’s social services are under a mandate to report abuse when they see it, but no abuse was reported by state employees at Elko. So far no one at a state or county level will go on the record to say why.

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