Sheriff's office: Teens molest 5-year-old boy

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) A 5-year-old boy was sexually assaulted at an emergency shelter by two teenagers, the Kern County Sheriff's Office says.

The molestation occurred April 1 at the Jamison Children's Center, according to sheriff's office spokesman Ray Pruitt.

The Jamison Center is a 24-hour emergency shelter for children put into protective custody. The center is operated by the Human Services Department of Kern County.

The suspects are also residents at Jamison Center. They are 13-year-old and 14-year-old boys, Pruitt says.

The teens were arrested on suspicion of lewd acts with a child, oral copulation with a victim under 14 years of age, and false imprisonment.

Pruitt says no more information can be released, given the nature of the crime and ages of the suspects.

The mother of the 5-year-old boy told Eyewitness News the boy was placed at the Jamison Center for behavioral issues, after spending time in foster care due to the mother's past drug problems.

"I'm shocked. I'm appalled. I'm disgusted," said the mother on Tuesday. Her identity is being kept private.

"It'll never be OK," she continued.

Dena Murphy, interim director of the Department of Human Services, said the department can not specifically comment on incidents due to privacy laws.

Murphy said all incidents are investigated by several different agencies, including at the state level.

But, the mother of the boy said it's too late to help her son.

"There will never be any justice that would replace what's been lost in my son," she said. "He'll always suffer for this."