Local News

Cumberland Group Home Owner Denies Allegations Of Sexual Assault

Posted April 11, 2003 2:46 a.m. EDT

— The owner of a Cumberland County group home is behind bars after being charged with sexual assault.

Cleveland Wilson, 39, of Red Springs, N.C., was arrested by authorities Friday. Wilson is co-owner of Wilson Family Services group home.

"I was in this business to help terrible, bad kids and I end up getting arrested," Wilson said.

Investigators say Wilson allegedly raped a 10-year-old girl, who was a resident at the facility. Authorities say the girl told a teacher about the alleged assault. The matter was passed to the Department of Social Services, which later reported it to authorities.

Wilson denies the allegations, saying the girl has a history of making up stories.

"The child was known to accuse people of touching her in improper places. When I got the kid, the lady told me to be aware of that," he said.

Authorities say they have physical and medical evidence supporting the girl's allegations.

Authorities say the alleged incident took place in February, the same month when the group home shut down.

In the six months Wilson Family Services Group Home operated, it only had three residents. The state had no complaints filed against it. Investigators say Wilson closed his facility in February, one day before the young girl told her teacher what allegedly happened.

At one point, Wilson had a partner. Chris Slocumb of Raeford told WRAL he dissolved the partnership in October because of concerns about how Wilson was dealing with the children.

Wilson insists he did nothing wrong and is confident he will be vindicated.

"I didn't do it. I just can't see it," he said.

The State Division of Facility Services had two investigators in town Monday afternoon. Technically, the group home still has an operating license because Wilson never notified the state the facility had closed, but with these new charges, officials may decide to take away the group home's license.