Grand jury report: 5 child welfare agencies failed sex abuse victims


Cesar Gonzales-Mugaburu took in more than 100 troubled boys over 20 years. Mugaburu is accused of abusing eight of the children and also sexually abusing a dog in front of a child.

Cesar Gonzales-Mugaburu took in more than 100 troubled boys over 20 years. Mugaburu is accused of abusing eight of the children and also sexually abusing a dog in front of a child. (2/15/17)

RIDGE - A grand jury report has concluded that a Ridge foster parent accused of sexually abusing boys should have been caught sooner.

Cesar Gonzales-Mugaburu fostered more than 100 young boys in his Ridge home over the course of 20 years, despite being the subject of 18 child abuse investigations. He's accused of sexually abusing eight of those boys.

The 83-page grand jury report describes the 60-year-old as "a sexual predator who preyed on mentally and intellectually disabled young boys."

The report goes on to detail many failures by the five child welfare agencies involved in Mugaburu's case and calls the communication among the agencies "abysmal."

The report identifies Mugaburu only as the letter "A" but the allegations and circumstances discussed are identical to those made public in court.

According to the report, one of the agencies – St. Christopher-Ottilie Family of Services – was directed to stop placing children with Mugaburu because of the number of reports of suspected abuse. The report says there was no formal notification of that directive and the children continued to go to Mugaburu for months after.

When one child was misbehaving, the report says Mugaburu ''dragged him outside and put him in a dog kennel, sprayed him with a hose, made him stay outside for an hour and then sprayed him again. And then kept him outside for hours after that until it was time to go to school."

It also states that "a therapist documented 22 attempts to visit the child that were thwarted by A."  Still, children continued to be placed in his care.

It goes on to say that, ''each agency involved is accountable for failing to adequately supervise A's home, resulting in almost 20 years of devastation."

The grand jury also made a number of recommendations that include eliminating the statute of limitations for prosecuting child sex abuse and creating a national central registry of foster homes.

In a statement to News 12, a spokesperson for St. Christopher-Ottilie says, "They've undertaken a rigorous corrective action plan to ensure complete transparency and significantly strengthen our foster care program."

Mugaburu's attorney says he had no comment yet on the report as he has not had the chance to read it yet.

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