A former employee at a group home co-owned by Deputy Police Chief James Hinson has been charged with one count of a sex assault on a minor and two counts of indecent liberties with children by the Guilford County Sheriff’s Department.
Richard Vernell Heath was arrested Tuesday, Sept. 10 for events that happened in May when he worked for worked at the group home for troubled youth at 2212 Glenside Dr. run by Center of Progressive Strides (COPS). Hinson is president of COPS and Kevin Chandler a former Greensboro Police officer is Vice President according to the filing with the North Carolina Secretary of State’s office.
There is a 53 page report from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Division of Health Services on the accusations made by a 15 year old resident of the group home and the way Hinson and Chandler handled those accusations.
The report which doesn’t refer to people by name but does refer to the president of COPS who is Hinson and notes that the president is an assistant police chief.
According to the report, the 15 year old client accused Heath of touching him improperly and forcing him to perform oral sex when the two were alone.
The report notes that at least two employees were required to be at the group home, but at the time Heath was the only employee present.
The report states, “the Lincensee #1 [Hinson] chose to not focus on the 5/17/19 incident. – Prior to a forensic interview being completed as well as investigations being completed by law enforcement or child protective services he determined that client #2 had not been sexually abused and no criminal act had occurred in his group home.”
Now that law enforcement has completed its investigation, it reached the opposite conclusion and charged Heath for the incidents reported by client #2 which are the subject of the NCDHHS report.
As Deputy Chief, Hinson was over the Greensboro Police Department’s Family Victims Unit which according to the NCDHHS report did the initial investigation of the accusations.
According to the report, Hinson told client #2 “they (police) don’t believe you downtown (at the police department) so you might as well drop it.”
Eventually the accusations were investigated by the Guilford County Sheriff’s Department, but it appears that investigation came about because the 53 page report was released to the public and the report raises a host of questions about how the accusations were responded to by Hinson and Chandler.