Charlotte children's mental health center faces punishment after weeks-long investigation

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A Charlotte facility treating children with mental health issues, is being punished by the state.

Friday, weeks after the investigation into Strategic Behavioral Center in south Charlotte began, state officials with the Department of Health and Human Services say the facility neglected to ensure the safety of residents.

DHSR recommended that Medicare and Medicaid participation be terminated, and all future admissions to the facility to be suspended.

The center has been in headlines for 12 weeks, and WBTV reported each issue.

Lavic Williams, who used to work at the Strategic Behavioral Center, was arrested last November, accused of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl there.

Williams was arrested in Nov. 2017 on charges including statutory rape of a child, and indecent liberties with a child. A police report says it happened at or near Strategic Behavioral Center in Dec. 2016. Sources told WBTV that management knew about the incident, but did not take immediate action.

Williams, 28, has denied having any sexual contact with the girl, court records say. Prosecutors dropped the charges in December 2017, saying they could not corroborate the victim's account.

Last month, more problems revealed, when documents suggested ten patients escaped the center on New Year's Day.

Days after that, six patients were arrested for assault. A staff member was also accused of slapping a resident.

The suspension of admissions would continue until conditions are documented to meet approved inspection status.

Strategic Behavioral Center could also face a fine.

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