New details uncovered in Juvenile Court case - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Kontji Anthony

New details uncovered in Juvenile Court case

New details have been uncovered about the suspension of a Shelby County Juvenile Court employee.

Henry Hodges is accused asking a teen in juvenile detention to expose herself to him.  Hodges was still on the job until the investigation. Now he is suspended without pay.

Action News 5 has learned Hodges has been suspended in the past for inappropriate behavior.

Viewers have sent in many e-mails and called the Action News 5 newsroom, outraged this supervisor was allowed to go back to work at Juvenile Court, and wondering how it happened.

"All of our children belong to all of us.  They're all God's children and it's up to all of us to protect them.  We shouldn't just ignore," said Marilyn Coleman of Memphis Front Porch said.

Coleman works with children in need. She says youth in trouble with the law are particularly vulnerable.

"Sometimes these young ladies are hardened.  They've been in it so long and they don't see any other way of living," Coleman said.

Shift Supervisor Henry Hodges is accused of asking a 15-year-old inmate to expose herself to him. She was a runaway charged with prostitution.

The case struck a cord with the community because Hodges had already been suspended two years ago for buying a cross-country bus ticket for another teen he met in Juvenile Court.

Child Advocacy Center Education Director Kelli Grissom said settings involving children are delicate.

"It's Always good if you can have two adults around when you're dealing with children.  It's good to avoid one-on-one situations if possible.  But, sometimes funding issues and manpower issues don't allow that to happen," Grissom said.

Coleman said the adults must listen to our youth and be fearless if they need support.

"And help them know the right person to report it to," Coleman said.

She added child sex abuse is more rampant than you think.

It is usually done by a relative, parent, or step parent.

Hodges is on leave without pay.

Click here to e-mail Kontji Anthony.

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