NBC12 Investigates: New allegation of sexual abuse against child - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

NBC12 Investigates: New allegation of sexual abuse against child therapist

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CAROLINE CO. (WWBT) -

The case of a convicted former therapist charged with sex crimes against children is far from over. Investigators say they've received calls of another victim who says Scott Henry also abused them.

For years, Henry lived in Henrico's West End and worked in Caroline County.

Henry was a man assigned to treat rape victims, children with emotional and mental issues and mentally handicapped adults.

But for years, at the Rappahannock Area Community Services Board in Caroline County, Henry sexually abused several patients.

Prosecutors say families were never allowed in the room during sessions and that is where he told his patients, many around six years old, to take off their pants.  Then he would touch their private parts.  It took about a decade from the first reported incident, before Henry was finally sentenced in a Caroline courtroom.

But investigators say with Henry now locked away this case is far from over.

Kristel DiGravio was the lead investigator on the Henry case. She won't go into specifics but does confirm at least one child has come forward with new allegations against Henry.

"He used his position to gain access," she said.  DiGravio, an expert in solving sex abuse cases, is the one who got Henry to confess.

"When I first spoke to him he first said he was going to sue the next person that made false allegations against him," she said.  "By the time he left the sheriff's office it was a much more subdued individual  who realized that they had been caught."

But how did it take years for a conviction?  In 2007, there was an investigation.  But in the end, the state board that oversees counselors said Henry "…did not violate any statutes or regulations," and "…they voted to exonerate [Henry] and close this case."

At the time, police were never notified about the allegations.

It took another five years before another victim came forward as a teenager.  This time that family went to the Caroline County Sheriff's office.  Detectives put out this notice and potential victims started calling in.

"The fact that he used his power and position to pinpoint his victims that he did made it extremely heinous," says DiGravio.  "I hear the question of, ‘How do you know they were telling the truth?'  And the reality is: children don't lie about this kind of stuff."

RACSB executive director Ronald Branscome refused an on camera interview.  He did say through email: "RACSB takes all allegations against staff members seriously.  RACSB remains dedicated to meeting the needs of individuals with behavioral health and intellectual disabilities through an integrated community-based system of care.  RACSB respects and promotes the dignity, rights and full participation of individuals served and their families."

We asked about policy changes to prevent this from happening again.  His reply, "RACSB will not be making any further comments on this matter."

But the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, which gives RACSB state funds, says it is now conducting a formal investigation.  A spokesperson said, "If violations are found, the CSB would be cited and would be required to submit a plan of correction."

NBC12 asked detective DiGravio if she thinks the ball was dropped when it came to protecting these children.

"I can't make any comments," she said.  "The only thing I can say is when it was brought to our attention, when I started working on it, the problem was solved."

The healing process is far from over for these victims. Families say they suffer from post traumatic stress disorder and two have had to be hospitalized since coming forward.

While Henry acknowledged abusing seven victims, he took a plea deal and was convicted of three. His victims never had to testify and he was sentenced to 13 years in prison.

He is 67 years old and in poor health.  Prosecutors believe he will end his days in jail.

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