Boot camp counselors face charges of abusing youths
An instructor for a youth boot camp in Los Angeles is due in court this month on charges he beat several kids there and sexually assaulted one of them.
Edgar Alvarado, 36, is charged with three felony counts of causing great bodily injury on a child, one felony count of corporal injury on a child and one felony count of sexual battery. One of the female victims has accused Alvarado of inappropriately touching her.
He is being held in lieu of $480,000 bail and is scheduled to appear in court March 28.
According to Los Angeles sheriff’s deputies, Alvarado and a co-worker, Ruben Romero, continuously hit nine boys and two females ages 12 to 17 years old repeatedly while they attended 180 Recon, a camp meant to reform troubled youths. Alvarado lists himself as a retired Marine on the site.
Romero faces three misdemeanor battery charges and is out on bail.
According to the camp’s website, the program begins with “breaking them down in order to build them back up” as model citizens. Kids who go there may have a bad attitude, skip school, use drugs or exhibit violent or criminal behavior. Recon 180 is supposed to give youths a 180-degree turn in their lives and instill some “good old-fashioned morals,” according to the site.
But that’s not what they received, according to sheriff’s deputies. Instead, they were allegedly physically abused at the company’s Camp Coulter in the Angeles Crest Mountains and at its East L.A. headquarters.
The L.A. County Sheriff’s Department asks if anyone has any information to call its special victims bureau at (877) 710-5273.
-- Joseph Serna