Former Santa Clara female counselor accused of sexual misconduct arrested

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A former Santa Clara County female counselor accused of sexual misconduct involving two teen boys has been arrested. (KGO-TV)

A former Santa Clara County female counselor accused of sexual misconduct involving two teen boys has been arrested.

Officials said the two juveniles were previously in the care of the County of Santa Clara Probation Department.

The arrest of Tricia Caparra, 36, by the County of Santa Clara Sheriff's Office stems from the Probation Department's reporting of the alleged conduct after one of the victims came forward.

Criminal charges will be filed against the former employee by the County of Santa Clara District Attorney's Office. "We were appalled to learn of this employee's alleged abuse of a minor in our care, and we have worked closely with the Sheriff and District Attorney to ensure they have the information necessary to investigate and now prosecute this individual," said Chief Probation Officer Laura Garnette. "We support the Sheriff's Office and District Attorney's Office in pursuing justice, and will continue cooperating with all aspects of the investigation and prosecution."

The District Attorney's Office is charging Caparra with a total of 17 counts of sexual assault (14 felonies; 3 misdemeanors). She also faces one felony charge for unlawful access to privileged information related to one of the victims.

The criminal charges are a result of allegations reported to the Probation Department on September 3, 2016.

The Department immediately placed Caparra on administrative leave and removed her from contact with all youth upon discovering the alleged crimes. Then, probation officials launched an internal investigation and reported the employee's conduct to the Sheriff's Office the same day.

Caparra resigned on July 10, 2017, while still under internal investigation by the Department. "This employee violated the trust placed in our Department. This will not be tolerated," Garnette said. "Our Probation staff have worked compassionately to support both of these youth throughout this ordeal, and we remain committed to providing exemplary care to our youth."

"The County has zero tolerance for these deplorable acts against clients in our care," said County Executive Jeffrey V. Smith, M.D., J.D. "The Department took immediate action to report the employee, and implemented steps to prevent this from happening in the future. We trust that the District Attorney's Office will pursue this case to hold this former employee accountable."

Officials ask that anyone who has information that might be helpful to the case to contact the Sheriff's Office Investigative Services Division at (408) 808-4500 or the anonymous tip line at (408) 808-4431.
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sex crimearrestinvestigationSanta Clara
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