State GOP seeking answers in sex abuse case

DOVER — State Republicans want more information on how the state of Delaware is responding to an addiction rehabilitation clinic facing a lawsuit and the arrest of an ex-employee on sexual abuse charges of a 16-year-old patient there.

In a letter sent Wednesday to Delaware Health and Social Services Secretary Rita Landgraf and Department of Services for Children, Youth and the Families Jennifer Ranji, the Republican Caucus referenced Crossroads of Delaware receiving more than $1 million from the state in Fiscal Year 2015, and approximately $3.7 million between 2011 and 2014.

Rita Landgraf

Rita Landgraf

A Crossroads of Delaware drug and alcohol counselor was arrested on Aug. 24 after investigation into an alleged sexual relationship with a minor. The Dover Police Department said Rebecca Q. Adams, 30, of Dover, was charged with 12 counts each of fourth-degree rape and sexual abuse of a child by person of trust, two counts of providing alcohol to a minor and continuous sexual abuse of a child.

Earlier this week, the Delaware Department of Justice said Ms. Adams’ case had been moved to Superior Court, with no future appearances scheduled yet.

Last week, a civil lawsuit against Crossroads of Delaware and Ms. Adams in New Castle Superior Court citing alleged negligence and gross negligence by the defendants during the minor’s time at the clinic. A jury trial was demanded and punitive damages sought.

A DHSS spokeswoman confirmed that Secretary Landgraf received the correspondence and was working on a response to Senate Republican Leader F. Gary Simpson and Senate Republic Whip Greg Lavelle, who both signed the letter.

Earlier attempts to reach Crossroads of Delaware Executive Director Alberta Crowley for comment were unsuccessful, along with Crossroads founder Michael Barbieri, state Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health director and former state representative from Newark.

In the letter, Republicans posed four questions to Secretary Landgraf and Secretary Ranji, which included:

1. “What is the status of the Crossroads of Delaware contract? Has it been reviewed and will the state continue to pay for its services?”

2. “What is your department doing about these allegations? Do you plan to conduct your own investigation?”

3. “What procedures and policies do you have with state contractors to ensure proper safeguards are in place for the protection of children and patients?”

4. “And finally, we are concerned about what role Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health director, Michael Barbieri, who is also the former owner of Crossroads, is playing in any investigation, contract review or any matter related to Crossroads. We would trust that given this clear conflict of interest, that Dr. Barbieri has no direct or indirect involvement in any of these issues. We ask that you confirm his status on these matters.”

The letter concluded by thanking the secretaries “for your attention to and assistance in this matter. We look forward to hearing from you soon.”

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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