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Security probed after teens found having sex at O.C. Juvenile Hall

February 23, 2012 |  3:38 pm

Orange County Juvenile Hall
A pair of teenagers charged with committing violent crimes were found having sex while in custody at Juvenile Hall in Orange County, setting off a sheriff’s investigation into the facility’s security.

Sheriff's officials said they are trying to determine whether the incident was consensual and just how the 17-year-old boy got into the room where the girl -– also 17 -– was housed, the Orange County Register is reporting.

Investigators also want to know why the teens went undiscovered for hours.

"They're supposed to be all checked out," the father of the teenage girl told the Register. "Something is not right."

A staffer from the Orange County Probation Department came across the teens Feb. 12, said Bryan Prieto, chief deputy probation officer. "One minor went into another room [where] they weren't supposed to be," he said.

Inmates at Juvenile Hall are housed in rooms with reinforced doors that can be remotely opened or locked. "Once the doors are locked, the only one that can gain entry is a staff member," Prieto said.

Prieto also said the two teenagers had been housed in a co-ed unit at Juvenile Hall, a fact the father told the Register was news to him.

Court records show that both of the teens have been charged as adults in what are believed to be gang-related crimes.

The girl is being held in connection with a pair of Jan. 7 robberies, one in Santa Ana and the other in Garden Grove. A 16-year-old was shot during the Garden Grove robbery, authorities said.

The boy is charged with murder and conspiracy in connection with a 2009 house party in Buena Park.

He has been moved to the men's facility at Orange County Jail.


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-- Steve Marble

Photo: A hallway at Juvenile Hall in Orange County is decorated to be calming for inmates. Credit: Gelnn Koenig / Los Angeles Times