DC youth rehab employee federally charged with sexually abusing teen in custody

An employee in D.C.’s youth rehabilitation services department was federally indicted, charged and arrested on allegations that he sexually abused a minor in custody.

Agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested Kelvin Powell, 61, Friday on four counts of sexual abuse of a ward and four counts of abusive sexual contact. He was arrested in March of 2022 for sexual abuse of a minor after charges were filed in D.C. Superior Court.

The federal indictment, unsealed Friday, said that Powell sexually abused a 17-year-old girl while employed as a Youth Development Representative for the District’s Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS).

Powell allegedly abused the teen living at the facility he worked in between December 2021 and February 2022. D.C. court documents said Powel abused the victim while escorting her to make phone calls offered for “good behavior.” During that time, Powell allegedly groped the girl, made inappropriate comments and, eventually, sexually assaulted her.

An investigative report said a review of surveillance camera footage corroborated what the 17-year-old reported to officials. Powell denied claims that he did anything inappropriate, asserting that he didn’t recall the incidents presented in the surveillance photos.

Officials are asking anyone with information about Kelvin Powell or others participating in this case to call 1-800-225-5342.

Ivy Lyons

Ivy Lyons is a digital journalist for WTOP.com. Since 2018, they have worked on Capitol Hill, at NBC News in Washington, and with WJLA in Washington.

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