Hanna Boys Center director faces child-sex charges in court – California News

Hanna Boys Center director faces child-sex charges in court – California News

A clinical director of Sonoma Valley’s Hanna Boys Center was arraigned Tuesday on child molestation charges carrying up to 24 years in prison.

Kevin Scott Thorpe, 39, of Rohnert Park, is accused of molesting a male resident of the Catholic facility for at-risk youth from 2009 to 2010. He was arrested Saturday and remains in jail on an increased $300,000 bail.

Appearing in a blue jail uniform before Judge Robert LaForge, Thorpe postponed entering not-guilty pleas so he could have time to review evidence including recordings.

“Whenever the government files charges like this, the criminal justice system, which is based on the presumption of innocence, is really put to the test,” his lawyer, Joe Stogner, said outside court.

The arrest was the latest in a string of setbacks for the more than 70-year-old nonprofit on Arnold Drive.

Thorpe’s predecessor as clinical director, Timothy Norman, has filed a $2.7 million whistleblower lawsuit against Hanna’s top managers, claiming he was fired after lodging complaints about unchecked bullying at the center. Center officials have denied the allegations, saying the center dealt promptly with incidents.

But state investigators last month reported finding a “preponderance of evidence” supporting Norman’s claims about bullying problems at the facility.

And last fall, a 22-year-old female counselor was fired and charged with molesting a 17-year-old male.

Thorpe is charged with three counts of oral copulation by force over the one-year period. The allegations suggest the acts were committed under duress or…

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