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FBI charges DC youth rehabilitation worker with sexually abusing a minor in his care

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Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

FBI agents arrested Kelvin Powell, an employee of the D.C. Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services, on charges of sexually abusing a minor in custody, the Department of Justice announced Friday.

Powell, age 61, is charged with sexual abuse of and abusive sexual contact with a minor in his care.

Four of the eight counts involve sexual abuse of a ward, and four counts involve abusive sexual contact. Each count of sexual abuse of a ward carries a maximum possible penalty of 15 years in prison, and each count of abusive sexual contact carries a maximum possible penalty of two years in prison, according to the DOJ.

Powell allegedly abused the teen girl between December 2021 and February 2022, according to a copy of the federal indictiment obtained by WTOP. The girl was living at the facility where Powell worked. According to the indictment, that facility was the Youth Services Center, which is a detention facility located on Olivet Road N.E. in Washington, D.C.

The alleged abuse occurred when Powell would escort the teen to make phone calls earned based on "good behavior," according to WTOP's reporting last March. The abuse began with Powell saying inappropriate things to the teen, which eventually moved to touching, groping, and more.

The girl initially told police after she began having nightmares about Powell coming into her cell.

WARNING: The paragraph below contains a graphic description of abuse drawn directly from court documents.

The alleged abuse involved Powell penetrating the teen's vulva with his penis, making contact between his penis and the teen's mouth, making contact between his mouth and the teen's anus, intentionally touching the teen's body with his genitalia, intentionally touching the teen's genitalia with his hand, touching the teen's breast with his hand, and touching the teen's buttocks with his hand.

Surveillance footage corroborated the teen's reports, according to WTOP's reporting. Powell, who denied doing anything inappropriate back in March, said he "didn't recall" the incidents when shown the footage. He also said at the time that once, the girl initiated the kissing.

D.C.'s Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services is the government agency in the District of Columbia responsible for the supervision, custody, and care of young people detained while pending charges for a delinquent act.

According to the agency's website, it provides "comprehensive support services to committed youth in [its] secure facilities as well as within the community." The agency has three locations in the District and one in nearby Laurel, Maryland.

The case is being investigated by the FBI's Washington Field Office and remains ongoing. Officials encourage people with additional information about similar conduct involving Powell to contact the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI.

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