MARSHVILLE, N.C. — A new report obtained in a Channel 9 investigation revealed more disturbing allegations against a Union County mental health residential treatment center for teens.
The state's Department of Health and Human Services initially suspended the license at Anderson Health Services. Now, it is moving to revoke the license after uncovering more allegations of abuse detailed in a 131-page report.
In May, a licensed therapist was accused of inappropriately touching one of the teens. The young boy wrote, "… he had his hand down touching me in a way I hated. I was scared to tell someone, but I had enough of it."
According to state findings, Anderson Health suspended the therapist but didn't report the allegation to the state until five days later.
In a separate incident in May involving another teen boy, multiple people told state investigators they heard the boy "crying, apologizing, yelling for help and making choking noises" while in a room with two counselors.
Marshville police investigated and told Eyewitness News anchor Liz Foster they could not prove there was intent to harm the teen while restraining him, so no charges were filed. The state called it "serious harm and abuse."
Additionally, local police who had been called to the facility told state investigators that the "(staff) verbally challenge the kids (clients)” and “(the) lack of rules is such a problem."
The report also notes the facility did not know if staff or clients took 29 pills that disappeared and a registered nurse gave the wrong prescription medications to a teen who had to be monitored for hypoglycemic episodes.
Weekly therapy sessions and 5.5 hours a day of required educational time were not provided.
After those findings, the state sent multiple letters to the center's CEO imposing four top violations with a total of $12,000 in fines. One of the letters was a notice to revoke the center's license for violations that "endanger the health, safety and welfare of clients."
Foster contacted the attorney representing Anderson Health.
"A full and fair response would require the disclosure of confidential client information, consequently, Anderson Health Services has no comment," the attorney said.
Channel 9 reported two weeks ago that all 17 teens who were receiving treatment at Anderson Health had been moved to another facility. It took Cardinal Innovations, the agency contracted by the state, a week and a half to move all the teens after shutting down most of the center's operations because of "imminent dangers."
A spokesperson with DHHS told Channel 9 there is no set timeline for revoking the facility's license because an attorney for Anderson Health has filed an appeal to the state's actions.
According to state law, the owner cannot open another facility for at least five years if a former facility's license is revoked.
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