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Lehigh teen says she was raped by supervisor in Pasco juvenile center

Posted at 12:53 AM, Sep 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-07 12:30:48-04

A Lehigh Acres father said his 16-year-old daughter was raped inside a center for troubled girls by one of the supervisors.

Investigators said Willie Jackson, 26, was responsible for watching over dozens of girls at a residential center in Pasco County.

Pasco County deputies said Jackson raped the girl in the bathroom at Central Pasco Girls Academy in Land O' Lakes. The victim was sent there after she was accused of stealing several cars.

The victim told investigators on September 4th just after midnight, Jackson sexually assaulted her and said if she didn't comply, he would write her up, which would keep her from getting released on schedule.

"Still angry. Very angry. Upset. Helpless," her father said when asked how he's been feeling. "You would think that she would be safe there, at least from the staff."

The moments before and after the assault were caught on surveillance video. The family's attorney described what was seen on that video.

"Guard comes in. As she's about at the door, the guard puts himself in the door and kind of pushes himself in the door, her in front of him, and shuts the door behind him. I'm told 9 minutes elapses on this tape, and then the guard re-emerges from the room, and then the child comes out," Mike Chionopoulous of Absolute Law said.

The victim's dad said she knows his daughter is strong, but he fears she's isolated.

"I think it will be devastating to her. In that situation, as a girl, I would think the first person you want to talk to is your mom or your sister, and she's not afforded that at all," he said.

The victim's dad is calling on the whole system to be investigated.

"She is one person out of thousands of kids in the state. They have these facilities all over the place. How many other kids are there?" he said.

Investigators say a rape kit used on the victim came back positive.

Jackson told investigators the sex was consensual and denied forcing the victim to do anything or threatening her. He's charged with sexual battery.

The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice issued the following statement regarding the incident: 

“The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) was notified by our contracted provider for the Central Pasco Girls Academy of an incident that occurred involving this contracted staff person. Law enforcement was immediately notified, and a call was placed to the Florida Abuse Hotline. This behavior is inexcusable, depraved, and disgusting and it is our expectation that this person be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. DJJ has zero tolerance for the victimization of youth placed in our care and custody and this contracted staff person’s employment has been terminated.”