Employee accused of raping teen at Nye County facility

An employee at Never Give Up Youth Healing Center in Amargosa Valley was arrested in Las Vegas ...

An employee at a youth residential facility in Amargosa Valley was arrested in Las Vegas after he was accused of raping a teenage girl and sexually exploiting two other juveniles.

A 16-year-old told Nye County deputies that Christopher Burleson had raped her and forced her to perform other sexual acts while at Never Give Up Youth Healing Center, according to an arrest warrant released Thursday by Beatty Justice Court.

The girl, whose name was redacted from the report, said Burleson made her go into an empty dorm sometime between Oct. 21 and Oct. 28 and choked her while he forced her to perform sexual acts.

Deputies found surveillance video confirming that Burleson entered the dorm the teenager was in and left six minutes later, according to the arrest warrant.

The facility offers assistance with behavioral, psychiatric and psychological disorders while also helping teenagers gain high school diplomas. Administration could not be reached for comment Friday morning.

A criminal complaint filed Wednesday expanded the allegations to include two other victims, a 17-year-old and a 14-year-old who were clients of the facility.

The complaint alleges that Burleson forced the 17-year-old to perform sex acts in his presence sometime between September and Nov. 5.

While the 14-year-old was at the facility for treatment from prior sexual abuse, prosecutors wrote, Burleson forced her to answer inappropriate questions “for the Defendant’s sexual gratification.”

In August, Nye County sheriff’s deputies were called to break up a riot at the facility after 84 youths were overpowering staff members and trying to escape, according to a statement from the Sheriff’s Office at the time.

No juveniles were injured, but one staff member was flown to a Las Vegas hospital for treatment.

Two children were taken into custody at the scene for their involvement in the riot, and two others were found in Pahrump the next morning and arrested.

The criminal complaint listed Burleson’s last address at an apartment complex near West Russell Road and South Tenaya Way.

Burleson was arrested at around 10 p.m. April 29 at a Las Vegas home, according to an arrest report from the Metropolitan Police Department, but the exact address was redacted from the report.

He was charged with sexual assault, three counts of sexual abuse and exploitation of a child, and two counts of sexual conduct with children under his care.

In 2019, the Nye County Sheriff’s Office opened an investigation into allegations of physical and sexual abuse at Never Give Up, which is located on the same rural Amargosa Valley property as the private boarding school Northwest Academy, which closed earlier that year amid similar allegations.

Contact Sabrina Schnur at sschnur@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0278. Follow @sabrina_schnur on Twitter.