Ex-group home staffer charged in sex assault of disabled man

- A former worker at a Pinole group home has been charged with sexually assaulting a man who is developmentally and intellectually disabled.

Dawaun King, 36, of Richmond victimized a man from 2014 to 2017 while working at a home on Appaloosa Trail, authorities said.

The alleged victim at the home, known as "A Better Chance."  Authorities say he was abused for at least four years until 2017, when King left for another job.

"When the subject actually left the home is when the victim felt comfortable coming forward and notified a couple members of the house that he was staying in," said Paul Graves, a senior Contra Costa County deputy district attorney. "And they contacted the police, and that's how we became aware of it."

Pinole police arrested King at the Oakland International Airport, where he works as a Southwest Airlines ramp agent.

Contra Costa County prosecutors have charged King with nine felony counts of sexual assault of an incompetent person, or someone incapable of giving legal consent because of a disability. King was also charged with one count of dependent adult abuse.

"Especially when it's somebody who's been entrusted to take care of this person, is aware of their disability and they take advantage of that individual, instead of taking care of them," Graves said.
The Pinole facility is run by the California Autism Foundation in Richmond.

"We are just devastated," said Ramsay Mashy, the foundation's director of quality assurance. "There was no outward clue that he was anything more than a very trusted employee."

State Department of Social Services records show that the Pinole home has been licensed as an adult residential facility since 1990. It only has a couple of violations that were quickly corrected, including unsecured Lysol, hydrogen peroxide and laundry detergent containers and a medication issue.

Authorities say the investigation is continuing and that there is a possibility that there are other victims.
King is being held at Contra Costa County Jail in Martinez in lieu of $9.1 million bail. He declined an interview request from KTVU. 

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