Report Finds Numerous Instances of Sexual Abuse in California Developmental Centers

A new report released by the California Legislative Analyst’s Office finds that sexual abuse and molestation has become a severe problem within the state agency charged with caring for those individuals with developmental disabilities and special needs. Through the course of an 18 month investigation, investigators found 36 cases of alleged rape and molestation.

The response from lawmakers has been swift; ranging from calls to shut down the particularly troubled Sonoma Developmental Center, to the creation of an independent Office of Inspector General to oversee the five developmental centers. The inspector general would have the authority to review patient complaints, conduct audits, investigate allegations of wrongdoing and help prosecute individuals who threaten patients or staff.