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Shelter counselor accused of molestationMonday, May 19, 2008

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counselor who supervises abused and neglected children is now accused of
allegedly molesting one of the girls. Police say at least one incident happened
at the emergency shelter where he worked.

Authorities are looking for other possible victims.

Click in the Eyewitness News Story Window above to watch the
accompanying video to this story.

Officials say the group counselor has worked at a children’s emergency
shelter care facility for more than two years. The arrest came after an
allegation was made by another juvenile at the home who said she had heard
rumors of inappropriate behavior. That’s when authorities were called.

Twenty-four-year-old Abner Avila is facing a number of charges, including
unlawful sexual penetration and child annoyance, allegedly involving a girl
under the age of 18 who was living temporarily at the facility.

The Orangewood Children’s Home is described as a shelter of last resort for
kids who have been abandoned, neglected or abused.

Authorities say the allegations go back to November 2007.

“The victim was being temporarily housed at that facility,” said OC Sheriff’s
Spokesman Jim Amormino. “The first incident happened at the facility. The second
incident happened as the group counselor was driving the victim to take a test.
He repeated the acts inside his vehicle.”

Authorities say the third alleged incident also happened in Avila’s car, two
weeks ago, when he went to Anaheim to the foster home where the girl was living.

Avila, a Lake Elsinore resident, is free after posting $100,000 bail.

Orangewood officials say they did background checks on Avila. Nothing came
up. Orangewood stresses that this is the first time in its 23 years of operation
that anything like this has happened. Thousands of children have come through
this facility. An internal investigation is also under way.

Avila is no longer employed at Orangewood with these charges pending.


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Written by dawneworswick

July 11, 2011 at 9:32 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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