Eight years ago, Yves Michael Scott was arrested and accused of raping a 3-year-old girl in the bathroom of her family’s Liberty City home.
But Scott could not be prosecuted for the crime. The reason: With an IQ of 57, he is intellectually disabled, and will never have the mental capacity to understand how the criminal justice system works.
After the charges were dropped and Scott, now 30, was committed to the care of the state, he eventually wound up in a Miami Gardens group home — where he is now accused of repeatedly raping his roommate.
While the case is investigated by police, Florida’s Agency for Persons with Disabilities has drawn the ire of a Miami-Dade judge for its handling of Scott’s case.
APD apparently never gave Scott any sexual-offender treatment as the court had recommended five years ago, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Victoria Brennan wrote in a scathing six-page report.
“It pains the court to have to point out that had the proper sexual offender treatment been afforded this defendant, there may have been no new sexual battery allegation,” Brennan wrote. “How many more alleged victims need there be before the agency addresses the obvious needs of the defendant?”
The agency declined to answer questions from the Miami Herald about Scott’s case because of medical privacy laws.
APD spokeswoman Melanie Etters said that, in general, placements of people under APD care are done by a “treatment team” over months and years.
“The goal is always focused on what is required for the resident to be successful within the APD system and, ultimately, within the community,” Etters said.
Advocates for the intellectually disabled say Scott’s case underscores the limitations of the state welfare system in dealing with those who were once accused of crimes, particularly sex offenses.
Jim DeBeaugrine, the former head of APD, said the case illustrates the lack of “intermediate” living options for people such as Scott. Usually, they go from rigid, secure, state-run facilities directly to group homes that are often ill-equipped to deal with the intellectually disabled who were once criminal defendants.
He advocates an investment in smaller, highly specialized facilities across the state that are established specifically to deal with this population. That would require help from lawmakers, DeBeaugrine said.
“You have to understand that this would require a financial investment,” he said. “It’s a difficult population to deal with, and that’s why it’s so hard to find people willing to be effectively service them. You can’t just have group home staff. You can’t ask someone making $8 an hour.”
After the judge issued her order, the agency temporarily moved Scott from the group home to a locked-down facility at the Florida State Hospital in Chattahochee.
Judge Brennan has appointed a committee of experts to figure out the best place for Scott to live; a court hearing is scheduled for Sept. 18.
In his 2005 case, Scott, a former Miami Carol City Senior High School student, had been a friend of the little girl’s family, and often stayed at their Liberty City home.
According to Miami-Dade police, the little girl immediately disclosed the rape in March 2005, and Scott admitted to the crime. The charges: two counts of sexual battery on a minor.