Ms Tricia Caparra, 36 years old, was arrested as her Santa Cruz home this Thursday for multiple charges of sexual assault and one charge of unlawful access to privileged information.
The Santa Clara police department declared that Ms Caparra had been sexually involved with both a 17 and an 18 year old boy (who cannot be named for legal reasons) whilst working as a probation counsellor. The boys were at that time incarcerated at the William F. James Boys Ranch in Morgan Hill, where at any given time some 100 male minors are being held
Given the allegations which surfaced at the end of last year when one of the boys came forward with the story, Ms Caparra had already been placed on administrative leave by her department. She had offered her resignation in July of this year.
Chief Probation Officer Laura Garnette: “We were appalled to learn of this employee’s alleged abuse of a minor in our care, and we have worked closely with the sheriff and district attorney to ensure they have the information necessary to investigate and now prosecute this individual. This employee violated the trust placed in our department. This will not be tolerated.”
“Our probation staff have worked compassionately to support both of these youth throughout this ordeal, and we remain committed to providing exemplary care to our youth.”
The head of the District Attorney’s sex team, Mr Luis Ramos, stated that if convicted, Ms Caparra could receive a maximum penalty of some 11 years in prison.
Ms Caparra is currently in Elmwood Correctional Facility with a bail set at $655,000. She remains in custody.
The County executive, Mr Jeff Smith also commented: “The county has zero tolerance for these deplorable acts against clients in our care. The department took immediate action to report the employee, and implemented steps to prevent this from happening in the future.”