Man Says Center Imprisoned Him El Paso Times 03/28/87
An El Paso man said Tuesday that he was held against his will at a local rehabilitation center for two months before he was allowed to leave under police escort. ***, 18, said staff members of KIDS of El Paso County Inc. blackmailed him into joining the program and wouldn't let him leave until authorities began investigating claims of false imprisonment. *** was allowed to leave the center at 6500 Boeing, late Friday. Until police obtained search warrants, staff members had refused to allow lawyer *** and police officers to visit with ***, *** said. Now, detectives are looking into *** claims of physical and mental abuse at the center, which opened in El Paso two years ago. *** director of KIDS said he would not comment on anybody who is or was in the program. He also would not talk in general about the program. *** said he was not the only unwilling participant of the program and that "I tried to get through there as quickly and with as little trouble as possible." The KIDS theory is that peer pressure can be used to get teen-agers off drugs. It uses similar methods in treating anorexia, bulimia, and other compulsive behaviors. In the early stages of the program, *** said, participants are not allowed to read anything, watch television, listen to music, or eat sugar. He said he was stripped of all privacy and not allowed to speak with or look at other teens whom he knew before the program including his sister, ***, who was signed into the program a month after he was. *** said *** tricked him into signing himself into the program by telling him a 17-year-old girl whom he had sex with three years ago was going to press statutory rape charges against him if he didn't join. He said staff members then assured him he could walk away from the program after 14 days if he wasn't happy. "(***) told me I could either sign into the program or he would call the police," *** said. He said his mother, ***, and stepfather, the ***, drove him to the center Jan. 17, telling him the building was a furniture shop and that he was to drop off two chairs to be repaired. *** a priest associated with All Saints Episcopal Church, said *** was taken to the center because he "had serious emotional problems and drug habits." He would not elaborate. *** says his drug habits were limited to trying marijuana and amphetamines in junior high school. He admitted to having a temper. Once behind the center's doors, *** said, abuse began. He was stripped of his Western clothes and put into a plain blue T-shirt and pants, he said, and not permitted to move around the building unless a staff member had a hold on him, looping a finger through *** back belt loop. He said the roughly 100 teens in the program were taken from the center to waiting vehicles in the parking lot each night and driven to local homes, where they were locked up overnight. He said he was thrown against walls and floors and that he saw the same thing happen to other teens. *** described the "Quiet Room", as a place where staff members took participants who became rebellious "to bounce them off the walls" and that he saw teens leave that room with split lips and bruises.
Inquiry of drug center is on again El Paso Times 06/13/87
An 18-year-old El Paso man who claimed he was held against his will at a drug rehabilitation center told prosecutors he did not want to pursue the case, but later changed his mind and said he did, County Attorney *** said. *** left the KIDS of El Paso County Inc. center March 13 under police escort, three months after he entered program. *** said, *** requested April 17 that the investigation be dropped. June 2, he requested that it be continued. Because of the indecisiveness, *** has taken a special interest in the case, which is under investigation by his office. "I'm not going to file those charges unless I am certain," he said. "If I charge KIDS of El Paso County with false imprisonment, that program is through."