Associated Press, June 16, 2000

Child handcuffed for three days--Boot Camp For Troubled Kids Closed

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - The state has shut down a ``boot camp'' for troubled children after state officials accused the operator of improper discipline that included handcuffing a child for three days.

After the state Division of Social Services filed a complaint against the camp and Raymond Moses, a court issued a temporary restraining order Thursday against Moses and his wife, Katrina. The order alleges Moses operated the camp without a proper state license.

The camp was closed Thursday and the 62 children there were removed and taken to an emergency shelter.

``It was clear that the strict discipline at the About Face Boot Camp was sometimes abusive,'' said Paul Burge, director of the Burke County Department of Social Services.

The 2-year-old camp accepts troubled boys and girls between the ages of 5 and 16 and subjects them to a ``strict, military-style regimen.'' Parents were charged $800 for the two-week sessions, according to the camp's Web site.

The state's complaint alleged Moses assaulted a child and then kept him in handcuffs for three days. It said the state was investigating other allegations of mistreatment.

Moses said he did handcuff the boy.

``He was handcuffed some and unhandcuffed some. He was allowed to go to the bathroom and bathe. We even took him to Quincy's to eat with no restraints,'' Moses said.

The child who was handcuffed was among two children who left the group last week, Sheriff John T. McDevitt said.

Moses said he went to county and state officials in Raleigh to ask about licensing requirements before he opened the camp.

``They couldn't give me an answer because they didn't know what category to put me in,'' Moses said.

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