Children's counselor accused of raping child - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Children's counselor accused of raping child

Deniro Smith (Source: TBI) Deniro Smith (Source: TBI)

A behavior counselor at a facility designed to help children now faces charges that he raped a child he was counseling.

Special agents with Tennessee Bureau of Investigation arrested 25-year-old Deniro Smith at his Memphis home Monday.

Investigators say Smith had a sexual relationship with a young person who lived at Youth Villages in Bartlett. The activity he's accused of reportedly occurred on the Youth Villages campus and at Smith's home between April 2014 and October 2014.

Youth Villages is a facility that works with youth, doing everything from mentoring to adoptions.

A lawyer working with the juvenile's family told WMC Action News 5 they are “Working to figure out how this could have happened” and “The main concern right now is for the minor.”

"It's tough to vet everyone out," says adoptive parent Ted Beck. Beck is familiar with Youth Villages and says this should encourage parents to have tough conversations with their kids.

"You have to talk to your kids and tell them what's acceptable and not acceptable," said Beck.

Youth Villages released the following statement:

“We are deeply concerned about this. The safety and well-being of the youth we help is always our utmost concern. Because of that, all of our employees must pass extensive background checks. We expect all employees to behave legally and professionally at all times. All our staff know that, and it's constantly reinforced. This person no longer works here, and we are fully cooperating with the authorities on this matter.”

The child no longer lives at Youth Villages, but remains in the care of Department of Children's Services.

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