Facebook Twitter

BOY TAKEN TO JUSTICE CENTER AFTER SEEKING HELP AT CAPITOL

SHARE BOY TAKEN TO JUSTICE CENTER AFTER SEEKING HELP AT CAPITOL

A boy showed up at the State Capitol seeking help from legislators and the governor in getting out of what he said was an abusive home.

The child, who appeared to be about 10 years old, approached a security officer near the House of Representatives administrative offices Wednesday and repeatedly asked, "Where are the legislators?"He then asked for the "state man" and was directed to the governor's office, although he did not meet with Gov. Norm Bangerter.

Francine Giani, the governor's press secretary, said the child said he was abused at home, so security officers took him to the Children's Justice Center.

The boy's story seemed to change several times while he was in the governor's office, Giani said.

Donna Bennett, constituency services employee at the Capitol, said the boy did not appear upset and was even friendly.

"This is the first time we've ever had an incident like this," she said.

In cases where children allege parental abuse, the child's parents are contacted, an investigation is opened and the child is interviewed, said Grant Tolley, supervisor of the state Office of Social Services's Family Preservation and Unification Department.

"The boy is at the Center for Children's Justice and we're working with them to get an interview done and get him home as soon as we can," Tolley said.

State social services case worker Mike Allen declined to discuss details except to say the boy had been interviewed and an investigation was under way.

Another social services employee, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the family preservation office had seen the boy before.