Devereux staff charged in connection with abuse of teen

Jim Melwert
September 17, 2019 - 12:57 pm
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WEST WHITELAND TWP., Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — Workers at the Devereux facility in West Whiteland Township are facing charges of abusing a 16-year-old at the Chester County facility, while two others are accused of failing to report the alleged abuse. 

Detective Scott Pezick with the West Whiteland Township police says the investigation started with a call to the ChildLine.

"Our investigator here was able to review surveillance video of a staff member at the facility allegedly assaulting this special needs student," Pezick said.

He says the video shows 35-year-old Andrene Bennett-Wint of Newark, Del., pushing and hitting the student with her hands, a hairbrush and a chair.

Bennett-Wint is charged with terroristic threats, endangering the welfare of a child, simple assault and harassment.

Pezick says the 16-year-old student has physical disabilities and never posed a threat to Bennett-Wint. In addition to the abuse, he says there’s also a recording of a threat against the teen.

"And that exact threat was actually captured on the student's iPad that she uses to communicate with other people."

Two other workers, Tyrena Adams and Cecilia Gbor, are each charged with felony failure to report or refer for not reporting the abuse.

Pezick says the Devereux Center is for people, mainly children, with special needs, either physical or mental.

"This student did not pose a threat to the staff member," he said.

And he says, the student uses an iPad to communicate, and one of the threats against the child was recorded on that iPad.

Over the summer, two former workers at that Devereux facility pleaded guilty to encouraging and organizing a fight between two students last year.

Several others employees were convicted or peladed guilty to abusing clients on charges that were also filed last year.