Youth worker's arrest prompts state review

almetto, Florida -- The arrest of a worker at a young offender program in Palmetto has prompted the state to review the program and the contractor.

Leroy Bostic, 34, has been fired from his job as a youth specialist at the Palmetto Youth Academy,which is housed at the Manatee Correctional Complex. Bostic is being held in jail, right across the street from the academy, on $260,000 bond.

The 15- and 17-year-old boys accuse Bostic of touching them inappropriately, and providing porn and cell phone time in exchange for sex acts.

MORE:Information about FL DJJ background screening of contract providers

According to the arrest report, Bostic molested a teen and touched him in his bed, slapped a boy on the backside in the shower and performed sex acts on him.

The facility director tells investigators staff shouldn't normally be in the cells or the shower area. Prosecutors say there's video of Bostic going into the teens' cell for several minutes at a time on numerous occasions.

Bostic's attorney argues that the teens in the high-risk youth offender program are trying to get back at Bostic.

The program that's meant to help troubled teens has seen its share of troubles in the past.

The Department of Juvenile Justice contracts employees through the company: G4S, which hired Bostic and manages nearly two dozen youth facilities across Florida.

DJJ Interim Secretary Christina Daly tells 10 News that she won't stand for crimes against kids in the state's care.

"Anytime something like this happens with an individual we entrust to take care of these children violates that, it's appalling," says Daly.

JOB DESCRIPTION:Youth specialist job description on G4S website

This isn't the first time there's been problems in the program.

In June, a G4S youth care worker lost her job after being accused of exchanging sexual favors with a teenage boy at Riverside Academy in Tampa.

Last summer, a riot at Avon Park Youth Academy in Polk County revealed failures at the facility.

Daly says DJJ will do a thorough review of all of its policies and procedures to determine if changes need to be made, including hiring a different contractor.

"We will be reviewing every level of all of this as we go through our investigation," says Daly.

RELATED:More info on GS4 Youth Services

"The safety and security of the youth entrusted to our care is our top priority. As a condition of employment, all G4S Youth Services employees are expected to comply with local, state or federal laws or ordinances as well as G4S codes of conduct."

A spokesperson for G4S released this statement: "Mr. Bostic was hired as a Youth Specialist at G4S Youth Services' Palmetto Youth Academy on June 9, 2014. Mr. Bostic was hired based on his qualifications and experience and on his ability to pass complete background and drug screening checks, in accordance with the law and requirements of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. FL DJJ conducts the background checks for all potential employees in Florida Juvenile Justice programs, using FDLE and FBI databases. In this particular instance, the prior charges were driving related, or were charges that were dismissed, and would not have prevented Mr. Bostic from being hired.

"All youth at Palmetto Youth Academy have 24-hour access to the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCFS) Abuse Hotline and G4S staff are required to report any allegation. In this case, the hotline was notified by a member of G4S staff and law enforcement was called. At that time, Mr. Bostic was suspended pending investigation. Mr. Bostic was terminated on August 11, 2014."


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