Lawsuit against children's group home describes sex crimes

SACRAMENTO - Children's Receiving Home, a group home that is plagued by allegations of neglect and sexual abuse, is being sued by a former employee.

The lawsuit claims wrongful termination, but the allegations of sexual misconduct at the Children's Receiving Home (CRH) of Sacramento are even more serious. Former CRH Health and Wellness Manager Tina Canupp said when she spoke out about those sex crimes, she got fired.

The group home's mission is to help children victimized by abuse, neglect and trauma. But in Canupp's lawsuit, she said the Children's Receiving Home actually inflicted abuse. Canupp claims she tried to intervene when she received reports that another employee helped underage girls sneak out of the facility to work as prostitutes.

The lawsuit goes on to describe other instances when Canupp reported allegations of an employee sexually assaulting an underage resident. But Canupp said her efforts to have these cases investigated were dismissed and only served to alienate her from her bosses. She claims she was fired out of retaliation for being a whistle blower.

Canupp declined to comment on the lawsuit.

When News10 contacted the Children's Receiving Home, CEO David Ballard released this written statement:

"We take all allegations regarding the care of children seriously. In our review of the claims of this former employee we find no merit to her accusations. The Children's Receiving Home terminated this employee for cause and it is extremely unfortunate that she is now using a lawsuit to take resources away from the very children she alleges she wants to protect. We look forward to the prompt resolution of this matter."

One of Canupp's accusations involves former employee Theresa Gooch. Sacramento police arrested Gooch last year for sex crimes with a minor. Ballard spoke to News10 in August 2013 when we asked him about Gooch.

"Please let me stress that the person no longer works at the agency and we are cooperating with all the appropriate regulatory and law enforcement agencies to resolve this issue," Ballard said in August.

Records show the Department of Social Services has substantiated multiple allegations of wrongdoing at Ballard's organization, including sexual abuse and failing to report incidents. In fact, as recently as January, DSS found CRH had failed to report multiple allegations of sexual and other inappropriate conduct by staff towards clients.

Canupp's lawsuit has moved from state court to federal court because of claims under the Family and Medical Leave Act. It seeks an unspecified amount in damages.


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