In the wake of the arrest of Keane Dean, an illegal immigrant who allegedly sexually assaulted a developmentally disabled teen, the city officials and Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s deputies are working to improve safety for members of the special needs community.
They’re encouraging special-needs families to sign with for the Special Needs Registry.
“It’s something that we’ve been using at the Sheriff’s Station for a while,” said Captain Roosevelt Johnson, of the SCV Sheriff’s Station. “I looked at the program and said it’s a great asset for the community but it’s not being used the way I think it should be used.”
Emily Iland, co-founder and project manager for the Special Needs Registry, developed the program in 2003 and, with the help of the city of Santa Clarita, took it online in 2007.
Johnson then asked Iland to conduct training classes for SCV Sheriff’s Station Deputy Sheriffs to teach them how to use the system and how to interact with people with special needs, he said.
“I think that’s going to help with the relationship here in the community as well,” Johnson said. “Prior to the school year ending, Emily and I met with the Hart School District representatives about sending out a brochure about this program and packets that would go out to families during of the school year to afford the opportunity to have their kids sign-up for this program.”
Deputies can use the program to access photographs of those who have registered as well as any information about medications or behaviors they should know about, Johnson said.
“This will give deputies on patrol an opportunity to access this information, get a picture really quickly, especially if a child comes up missing, and get that information out to the rest of the deputies and the community as quickly as possible,” Johnson said.
Iland says the registry can speed up the Sheriff’s investigation by providing them information in about a minute as a opposed to spending at least an hour to gather the same information.
“The Sheriff’s tell us the more information they have, the better they can do their job,” Iland said, adding that the Special Needs Registry is a “proactive tool but the biggest problem is the public doesn’t know about it.”
Officials are encouraging Santa Clarita Valley residents with special needs to sign up for the program after, more recently, a missing developmentally disabled teenage girl was found in the home of a convicted sex offender.
The parents of a young, developmentally disabled teenage girl reported her missing to the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station Tuesday, July 14, 2015, at 9:30 p.m. after they discovered her missing from home.
While patrol deputies searched the community, investigators checked her phone records.
Deputies called a phone number found on her phone records, and a man, later identified as Dean, answered the phone. He denied knowing the whereabouts of the missing girl.
Sheriff’s deputies went to the home of the suspect, where they were allowed inside by the suspect’s parents. Deputies soon found the victim inside the garage prior to 2 a.m.
The victim told deputies she had been befriended by the suspect the previous day while at a grocery store in the Santa Clarita area and that he had sexually assaulted her, according to sources.
Dean, 26, of the Philippines and a resident of Santa Clarita, was charged Friday and pleaded no contest to one count of oral copulation of a person under 16 and one charge of performing a lewd act on a child, said Ricardo Santiago, spokesman for the District Attorney’s Office.
Dean is a registered sex offender with a conviction for indecent exposure in the city of Glendale. He is serving parole for burglary.
Dean was in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody in October 2014 after serving for the indecent exposure and burglary, according to Lori K. Haley, a spokeswoman with ICE.
“He was released by ICE April 29 after posting a $10,000 bond granted by an immigration judge,” Haley said. “A previous request for bond was denied by the court in December 2014. However, under the Ninth Circuit Rodriguez vs. Robbins decision, virtually all immigration detainees within the Circuit’s jurisdiction who have been in ICE custody for six months or more are entitled to a new bond hearing.”
Dean was released by ICE after he posted bond and agreed to other conditions from the immigration court, Haley said. Dean is subject to monthly reporting requirements and GPS monitoring while his removal case is pending with the immigration court.
Dean was arrested and booked at Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station after the teen was found in his home, Sheriff’s officials said. He is being held in lieu of $110,000 bail.
“Records show that prior to his arrest last week, he had fully complied with the terms of his release, including reporting in person to the ICE office on multiple occasions and facilitating visits to his home by ICE contract staff,” Haley said.
Dean is due back in court for a preliminary setting date on August 18.
To sign up a family member or yourself for the Special Needs Registry, [click here].
Sheriff’s Special Victims Bureau investigators are asking any adults or children who have had contact with Dean to contact Special Victims Bureau Investigators.
Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact the Special Victims Bureau, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department at (877) 710-5273.