Cedar Valley Services worker banned for sex abuse

Published 10:37 am Friday, June 13, 2014

Human Services report: Employee can not work at state-licensed facilities

A former Cedar Valley Services employee in Austin was banned from working with people receiving services from state-licensed facilities after allegedly groping and trying to coerce sex from a vulnerable adult in January and February of 2014.

A Minnesota Department Human Services investigation found a Cedar Valley Services employee sexually abused a vulnerable adult after allegedly groping the victim and attempting to coerce the victim to perform sexual acts on multiple occasions, according to a report made public last week.

“It was determined that sexual abuse occurred,” the report read.

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That person no longer works for Cedar Valley Services, according to Executive Director James Mueller.

The employee was accused of pinching the vulnerable adult’s chest and slapping his/her buttocks while working on a production line at Cedar Valley Services. The employee allegedly told the victim he/she would look good in a certain kind of swimsuit and asked the victim to perform sexual acts.

Then in early February, the employee allegedly waited outside the victim’s school. A few days later, the employee allegedly went to the vulnerable adult’s second job at a local business seeking sex and then waited for the victim to go on break.

However, the victim admitted asking the employee to meet on a break at the victim’s second job to have sex in the parking lot.

The employee denied touching the victim’s chest but claimed the victim rubbed his/her chest against the employee until the employee asked him/her to stop.

However, the worker admitted hitting the victim with a cardboard tray on the buttocks. The employee claimed the victim said it “felt good” and asked the employee to do it again, the report states. The employee admitted hitting the victim’s buttocks a second time with an open hand, but then after the victim asked to be hit another time, the employee said, “No, I can’t. This is not appropriate,” according to the report.

A different worker at Cedar Valley told investigators the victim had made previous allegations against other clients at the facility, but never against an employee.

The worker admitted receiving a note saying the victim wanted to have sex in the parking lot during a break, the report read. The employee admitted flushing the note down a toilet for fear his/her spouse would find out.

The employee admitted going to the business and asking when the victim went on break, but told investigators it was to tell the victim, “Knock this stuff off, I’m married,” according to the report.

According to the report, the vulnerable adult suffers from attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and depression, was sexually abused in the past, and showed an inability to defend himself/herself.

“The [staff person]’s interactions with the [vulnerable adult] hindered the [vulnerable adult]’s ability to have a consistent understanding of the parameters of a therapeutic relationship which could interfere with other individuals’ attempts to provide therapeutic services to the [vulnerable adult], both now and in the future,” the report read.

The employee was banned from working in direct contact with people receiving treatment from facilities licensed by the Department of Human Services, the Department of Health, or at facilities serving children or youth licensed by the Department of Corrections, and unlicensed Personal Care Provider Organizations.

Human Services also issued a correction order against Cedar Valley Services for learning about the incident Feb. 5 but waiting to report it until Feb. 7. Mueller said Cedar Valley Services plans to appeal the order, as staff reported allegations to the County Health and Human Services Department within 24 hours of first hearing about it.

“We followed what we believe to be the proper policy in reporting it to the local authorities,” Mueller said. “Our instructions are to report it to the local authorities and that’s what we did.”