Va. governor orders probe into juvenile facility

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center (all times local):

2:20 p.m.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has ordered state officials to investigate claims made by immigrant teens of severe physical abuse at a juvenile detention facility.

Northam announced the probe in a tweet on Thursday, hours after The Associated Press reported on a half-dozen sworn statements from Latino teens held at the Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center.

Youths as young as 14 say they were beaten while handcuffed and locked up for long periods in solitary confinement, left nude and shivering in concrete cells. Detainees also say the guards stripped them of their clothes and strapped them to chairs with bags placed over their heads.

The governor, a Democrat, said the allegations are disturbing and ordered the state’s secretary of public safety and homeland security to report back to him about conditions inside the facility.

The center’s lawyers deny all abuse allegations.

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12:30 a.m.

Immigrant children as young as 14 housed at a juvenile detention center in Virginia say they were beaten while handcuffed and locked up for long periods in solitary confinement, left nude and shivering in concrete cells.

The abuse claims against the Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center near Staunton, Virginia, are detailed in federal court filings that include a half-dozen sworn statements from Latino teens jailed there for months or years. Multiple detainees say the guards stripped them of their clothes and strapped them to chairs with bags placed over their heads.

A former child-development specialist who worked there tells The Associated Press she saw kids with bruises and broken bones. She’s not authorized to publicly discuss the issue and spoke on condition of anonymity.

The center’s lawyers deny all abuse allegations.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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