A ProPublica investigation found that police responded to at least “25 calls reporting sex offenses” at child shelters that primarily serve immigrants during an analysis of over 70 of the about 100 shelters that exist in the U.S. The reports include shelter staffers tickling children, going into their rooms alone, kissing them, and groping them. There have also been instances of adults maintaining inappropriate relationships with minors, and giving them their Snapchat information after making sexual advances. “If you’re a predator, it’s a gold mine,” Lisa Fortuna, director of child and adolescent psychiatry at Boston Medical Center, told ProPublica. “You have full access and then you have kids that have already had this history of being victimized.” Reports also revealed incidents of “unwanted groping and indecent exposure” among the children housed in some facilities—including a child touching his roommate without consent and another minor receiving threats of rape. This comes as hundreds of children who were separated from their parents as a result of the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance policies remain at shelters.
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