OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – A former staff member of the Child Saving Institute (CSI) has been arrested following an investigation into an alleged sexual relationship with a teen. The teen’s uncle tells our sister station WOWT 6 News: “I hope it doesn’t traumatize him.”
WOWT 6 News is not identifying the uncle or his nephew, who is a minor.
Hanna Dickerson, 23, was arrested for first degree sexual assault on Wednesday. According to a police report, a 17-year-old ward of the state told officers Dickerson had sex with him on multiple occasions while she was employed by the Child Saving Institute.
The alleged victim’s uncle told WOWT 6 News his nephew was sent to the Child Saving Institute last spring when he was 16 years-old. The uncle said: “He was getting into trouble and stuff and he was taken away from his mom.”
The alleged victim’s uncle said he and his wife visited their nephew at the facility. He said they believed Dickerson’s behavior and interactions with their nephew seemed suspicious. He said: “My wife goes, ‘Something has got to be going on with him and her. They must be having sex,’ is what she said.”
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On Thursday, the Child Saving Institute (CSI) released a statement saying, in part, “When the agency was notified that a former shelter youth made an allegation of inappropriate contact with a former staff member, Child Saving Institute notified Child Protective Services and law enforcement.”
Officials also say personnel at CSI undergo both criminal and child/adult abuse background screenings prior to employment. Staff also receives training on a variety of topics including appropriate and professional boundaries with clients.
“CSI is deeply saddened by this situation and the harm caused to the youth involved” CSI said in their statement.