PORTLAND – A 16-year-old boy was charged with assault and unlawful sexual contact after he attacked a counselor at a home for troubled teenagers, police said Thursday.

The incident occurred Monday afternoon at 169 Ray St., a Spurwink Services home for adolescents with emotional, developmental or behavioral problems.

The boy locked the door to his room and restrained a female staff member, holding her down and choking her before she broke free and opened the door, said Portland police Lt. Gary Rogers.

She yelled for help before the boy covered her mouth, but another staff member could not get into the room, according to the police report.

“She fought back and was able to get away from him and was able to get to the door and unlock it,” Rogers said.

Residents in group homes such as the one on Ray Street typically have their own rooms, but do not have doors that they can lock.

“It’s not usual. We’re looking into that” taking place, said Daniel Bonner, vice president of operations for Spurwink.

Neither Portland police nor Bonner would identify the boy or the employee, citing the age of the suspect and the privacy of the victim.

The staff at the home called police about 1 p.m. Monday. The boy had left the house by the time police arrived but was arrested nearby and taken to the Long Creek Youth Development Center in South Portland.

He was charged with unlawful sexual contact, criminal restraint and assault, Rogers said.

Bonner said he could not discuss the details of the incident, for privacy reasons and because of the police investigation.

“We clearly take security very seriously for both staff and clients. We have taken a number of steps to minimize the risks,” he said. “This is very unusual. I don’t think we’ve had a similar case.”

While police are periodically called to the city’s group homes for troubled adolescents, the incident on Monday was unusual, Rogers said.

“It’s one thing to have a push or a shove or a punch,” he said. “This is an assault that lasted.”

It wasn’t clear from the police report how long the woman was restrained in the locked room.

“It was a period of a few minutes, anyway, which is a long time,” Rogers said.

Staff Writer John Richardson can be contacted at 791-6324 or at:

[email protected]


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