Rite of Passage: Children Removed from Hillcrest Youth Residential Facility; Employee under Criminal Investigation

May 4, 2023

SPRINGFIELD TOWNSHIP, Ohio — At least a dozen children and teenagers were removed from a residential treatment center in Springfield Township over the weekend.

WLWT has learned the move was a result of a criminal investigation.

Springfield Township police confirmed they're investigating allegations of a sexual offense at the residential treatment center for 12 to 18-year-old boys.

A Cincinnati mother whose 17-year-old son was placed at Hillcrest said she received a vague phone call from a therapist last Thursday. The mother asked not to be identified.

"I mean, she just told me that there was an incident between a female staff member and a student-athlete, and they call the students at Hillcrest, they call them student-athletes," the mother said. "241-kids were notified, the police were notified, everyone was notified, but they couldn't give me any further information."

Her son — who she said had been placed at Hillcrest through the Hamilton County Department of Job and Family Services — is not the victim in this case.

The mother said her son was abruptly relocated to an apartment on Friday. It's a move she's not happy about.

"It gives him a ticket into either his death or to jail because they're not giving him the proper care, and now they have him in an apartment that is unsupervised," she said.

Due to the ongoing criminal investigation, a spokesperson for JFS would not comment or say how many kids it moved out of the Springfield Township facility.

WLWT did confirm on Saturday that Hamilton County Juvenile Courts held an emergency hearing and removed 12 boys that the courts had placed at Hillcrest.

It's not clear where they were moved to.

Teenage boys from other states are also placed at Hillcrest.

No one from Hillcrest or its operator, Rite of Passage, returned WLWT's calls for comment Monday.

Springfield Township police said it's working with the Hamilton County Prosecutor's Office to determine the scope of the criminal investigation.

Source: Karin Johnson, “At least a dozen teenage boys abruptly removed from residential treatment center,” WLWT5 CBS News, May 1, 2023, URL: https://www.wlwt.com/article/dozen-teenage-boys-removed-residential-treatment/43757706  


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