Autism center in York County facing child abuse allegations

Posted at 4:33 PM, May 19, 2014
and last updated 2014-05-19 23:43:14-04

A child abuse investigation is underway at the New Horizons Center for Autism in York County.

Child Protective Services is looking into a report of a non-verbal child at the center who had old, faded bruising.

A family member tells NewsChannel 3 that his 12-year-old nephew had a badly bruised eye. He still wants answers about what happened.

Initially, CPS just wanted to make sure staff members knew they were supposed to report unexplained bruising, according to the law, so they sent an investigator.

After talking with staff members, investigators with CPS and the York-Poquoson Sheriff's Office believe four children have been physically abused and they are investigating three employees.

No one has been charged.

John, the 12-year-old student, came home from school on April 1st with a bruise on his right eye. His uncle, Carlton Hofler, tells NewsChannel 3 that he nor his wife were notified. Hofler says he had to call the school and he was told that staff put ice on the boy's eye but no one had any other information.

Hofler says although John's teacher documents what happens daily,  there was nothing about the day in question.

"They come up with about three or four scenarios," says Hofler. "It's like they don't even care."

Little John's eye has healed within the last seven weeks. Hofler says he was not surprised to hear that police believe that other children may have been abused at the center.

"If I thought it was a grown up, I probably would have beat him up myself," says Hofler.

New Horizons Center for Autism is a regional school for children with autism on the Peninsula. It is located in a wing of York Middle School, according to the New Horizon's website.