NYE COUNTY (KTNV) — A Henderson man is under arrest as authorities investigate abuse claims at a youth facility in Nye County.
The Nye County Sheriff's Office reported it conducted a search warrant at the Never Give Up Youth Healing Center located in Amargosa Valley on Dec. 2.
Authorities said they received several reports of physical and sexual abuse that were happening at the facility, and staff failed to report the allegations within the 24-hour mandatory time to do so.
The Nye County Sheriff's Office followed up on these reports and interviewed children and staff members.
Raymond Lomeli. 21, of Henderson, was arrested for obstructing a public officer, according to NCSO, with additional arrests possible as the situation remains under investigation.
Anyone with further information on the case was urged to contact the NCSO at 775-751-7000.
Furthermore, a spokesperson for Never Give Up released the following statement on Wednesday:
"We are deeply concerned and frustrated with events that took place at Never Give Up Youth Healing Center as the result of the Nye County Sheriff’s Office’s execution of a search warrant on December 2, 2019. While our highest priority is the safety and well-being of our residents, we are not immune to allegations of wrongdoing as are made against any other youth psychiatric facility. As required by law, we investigate all allegations and report as necessary to the appropriate local and state agencies. Never Give Up has always complied with its reporting requirements, and has gone to great lengths to ensure transparency and cooperation with local and state authorities.
Unfortunately, the manner in which the Nye County Sheriff’s Office carried out its investigation unacceptably endangered the safety of our residents. We believe our presence in the former location of a facility notorious for its quality of care issues lends instant credibility to any allegation against us, even before an investigation has begun. As a result, deputies took unnecessarily restrictive measures and caused great upheaval within our facility and distress to our residents. Although this appeared to be due to a miscommunication within the Sheriff’s Office, Never Give Up staff were threatened and physically prevented from providing necessary treatment, medication, security, and comfort to our residents during the nearly 12-hour long search. We have cooperated with authorities and will continue to do so, but we object to the Sheriff’s Office’s characterization on social media of this open and possibly flawed investigation as proof of culpability.
Since taking over operations earlier this year, Never Give Up has provided desperately needed behavioral and mental health services to hundreds of Nevada’s most complex and fragile youth. We have had some amazing success stories and we are proud of the passion and dedication that each of our team members shows to the young people and families who come to us in their time of need."