Employees charged in youth home abuse case

Twelve employees of a northern Jutland based youth home have been charged with the abuse of minors

A dozen employees of a northern Jutland youth home have been arrested on suspicion of the systematic abuse of 18 youths.

The youth home Solhaven, which is located in the town of Farsø, houses children and teenagers from the ages of 12 to 18. An official statement from the North Jutland Police department claimed that the 12 employees in question are being charged with 66 counts of violent and abusive conduct—with the oldest case dating back to 2005. The charges include cases of physical violence such as choking, punching and kicking, as well as mental abuse, with some of the youths being forced to walk around in their underwear.  

The situation at Solhaven was first brought to the public eye following a 2012 report by the independent consultant firm Revas. The report described how force was utilized in disciplining the youths and that a severe lack of empathy and respect was shown by the employees. The police investigation that followed the report has now culminated in charges which could lead to prison sentences of up to six years for the employees in question. All of the accused have declared themselves innocent.

The state's prosecutor, Lene Wacher Lentz, said that due to the nature of the case the investigation was wide-reaching.

“Our investigators have had to interrogate many different people who have had some sort of a connection to Solhaven,” she said in the police report, adding that she expected the case to go to court within 25-30 court days.