TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – Guards at a juvenile detention center allegedly assigned a teenage sex offender to bathe and change a severely mentally retarded boy, who was then raped by the offender, police said.

Lee Donton, 17, was charged with sexual battery on a child after two other teens in the detention center reported twice seeing him rape the disabled boy, 15, who a relative said was autistic.

Juvenile Justice Secretary Anthony Schembri said it was against department policy to have one youth take care of another for any reason.

“We’re going to get to the bottom of this, and heads are going to roll,” Schembri said.

The detention center supervisor, Linda Edward-Ellis, has been suspended with pay. Shift supervisor Lt. Don Williams was fired Thursday.

One of the assaults happened in a shower where Donton had been assigned to bathe the boy. The other occurred in the disabled boy’s cell where Donton was changing the boy’s diaper, according to police reports.

Schembri told lawmakers Thursday that the sexual battery charges were “weak,” explaining that one of the witnesses has lied to authorities four times.

Donton acknowledged to police that he was alone with the boy, but also said one of the witnesses had made threats to get him in trouble.

The case was first reported in The Miami Herald.

The boy is now in a group home and doing well, said Victor Williams, a social services coordinator in the public defender’s office.

A judge confined the youth to the detention center after the boy pushed his grandmother down and stepped on her. The family had wanted the boy placed in a group home earlier, but was told there was no room, according to the boy’s great aunt, Mattie Russ.

“He’s an autistic child, and those kinds of children can get easily upset sometimes,” she said.

The state Agency for Persons with Disabilities declined to comment on the case, citing confidentiality rules.


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