- Associated Press - Thursday, May 22, 2014

WALPOLE, Mass. (AP) - A contractor that runs a school for children in state care failed to report a rape allegation at the home this month, Walpole police said.

A 13-year-old boy staying at the Home For Little Wanderers’ Longview Farm sneaked into a 9-year-old boy’s room and sexually assaulted him in the early morning hours of May 9, Walpole Deputy Chief John Carmichael said. Both boys were in custody of the Department of Children and Families.

But police didn’t find out until about 24 hours later when a hospital social worker informed them, he said.

“When 24 hours has passed, we’ve lost all that integrity, the scene is compromised, and it’s very difficult to do an investigation that way,” he said.

The Home for Little Wanderers said in a statement it “strongly disputes” that the encounter between the boys was a sexual assault, calling it a “behavioral health matter.” The home said it contacts police when they suspect a crime occurred.

The home, per protocol, immediately contacted DCF, which is investigating.

“The Department of Children and Families received a report related to this incident and is currently investigating in coordination with law enforcement,” agency spokeswoman Cayenne Isaksen said.

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