SEATTLE - Secrets, nearly 10 years old, are coming out tonight surrounding the only state-run psychiatric hospital for children in Washington.
Two adult women are now going public to say they were raped as young, mentally ill girls in that hospital, by a trusted counselor.
The women say hospital staff had warnings, but didn t do enough to protect them.
The first girl to come forward is named Crystal. She s 21-years-old now but was born into chaos. She had a drug-addicted mother who neglected her. At least three family members sexually molested her.
By the age of six, Crystal was mentally ill and unwanted; bouncing between foster homes, group homes and institutions.
I felt like I wasn't good enough for a foster home at all, said Crystal. I just wanted to be loved like everyone else. It s every little girl s dream to have a family.
At age 12 she met Corrie Tienharra, a stable foster parent from Lacey. She and her husband took Crystal in as one of their own.
But another emotional breakdown sent the child back to the state's psychiatric hospital for kids: the Child Study and Treatment Center. CSTC is located on the grounds of Western State Hospital in Steilacoom.
Crystal got attention at CSTC. A trusted hospital counselor named Tony Grant was there for her.
Crystal and fellow patient Jessikah Ramsey got crushes on him right away.
(He) made me feel like I was special, pretty, said Jessikah.
Grant showered the teens with gifts, trinkets and artwork.
The girls passed him notes through other staff members at night.
Many of the notes were sexually charged.
One card said kiss me . In a letter to Grant one of the girls wrote you're a hottie.
A self-portrait by one of the teenage patients came with the caption, Tony s Girlfriend.
Both Crystal and Jessikah even had what they call Tony walls. Their bedroom walls were littered with drawings, pictures and notes to and from the counselor.
Everyone knew, it wasn't hidden. Both Crystal and I would pass him notes daily, said Jessikah. It was obvious that Crystal and I had an unhealthy infatuation with him. But nobody did anything about it.
Someone was trying. Desperately. The military had relocated Crystal s foster parents to North Dakota.
From 1500 miles away, I knew something was wrong, said Corrie Tienharra.
From talking to Crystal regularly on the phone, she sensed that Tony Grant, who was twice crystal s age, was preying upon the girl.
Tienharra says she let the hospital know about it on several occasions.
So when I'm calling and saying, this is what's going on, I know something's wrong and I'm told, oh, there's policies in place, don't worry about it. He can't help it. He's charming and good looking. Charming and good looking. Those were the exact words that were used, said Tienharra.
By 14 Crystal was released from the hospital. She was reunited with her foster family in North Dakota.
Within days Corrie Tienharra found disturbing emails to Crystal from her former counselor on their computer.
Hey Babe, wrote Grant. I miss you.
He also wrote this suspicious line: Wanna go to the canteen tonight? (I wish!)
The truth came out.
The canteen was a room in the hospital s administration building, with vending machines, where the counselor had taken Crystal to have sex for months.
The state's own investigation deemed it rape of a child.
I just hit the roof. I couldn't believe that this had happened after repeated warnings, said Tienharra.
Through tears she said, That's what we committed to with Crystal for the long haul, was to protect her and I couldn't. I tried, tried.
Crystal was devastated about telling the truth. She d hoped to marry Tony Grant some day.
I didn't really know anything about sex up until that point or anything really, said Crystal. I had a crush and felt like he loved me and I learned that my body was a way to still have him around me or like me.
After a nine-month investigation by DSHS, Grant was fired.
He plead guilty to a sex crime against Crystal and is a registered sex offender.
Crystal went on to become a prostitute on the streets of Atlanta. She was missing for more than a year.
She had been groomed and taught that her body was used to keep people close to her, said Tienharra. That's hard for any mom to know you leave your child in a place that you think they're going to be safe, you think they're going to get help and they come out so much worse off than they were when they went in. The issues that you deal with after something like that, it's horrendous.
Eventually Crystal made it back and sued the state of Washington. Her lawsuit claims the staff didn't do enough to protect her.
Once the legal proceedings began last year, her attorney found something alarming.
Documents surfaced showing another child, Angel, had reported to hospital authorities that Tony Grant had been having her strip for him and that he touches her breasts and vagina.
This allegedly happened a year before Crystal came to the hospital.
Other documents showed the facility's Director of Nursing Services was alarmed two years before.
Mary Claire Rutherford wrote about her concerns to the hospital CEO and to the Secretary of DSHS.
She said patients were at serious risk at the hospital because those in charge were reluctant to follow the law about reporting alleged abuse.
Crystal s attorney, David P. Moody, says the hospital covered up the incident with Angel and broke the law by not calling law enforcement after getting a complaint of suspected sexual abuse of a child.
It was completely whitewashed and swept under the rug. Once swept under the rug they allowed this staff member to remain an employee, with access to vulnerable patients for the next two years. And we know what happened, said Moody.
The Department of Social and Health Services, which operates the hospital, said they could not talk to KING 5 for the story because of the ongoing litigation.
But in legal papers they say they asked Child Protective Services to close Angel s case of alleged sexual abuse because she recanted to a hospital psychologist.
Attorneys for DSHS also have written they didn t have ample warnings about what was happening to Crystal.
Crystal's trial is set to begin in March.