LA-area 'boot camp' operator sentenced for abuse

Fake Truancy Officer

Pasadena Police Department/AP

This publicly distributed handout photo provided by the Pasadena Police Department on June 7, 2011 shows Kelvin McFarland, who was arrested last month on charges of kidnapping, false imprisonment and extortion. McFarland, 40, allegedly claimed to be a truancy officer, handcuffed a 14-year-old girl who was skipping school, put her in the back of his car and made her father pay a fee before he would release her. McFarland is being held on $285,000 bail. (AP Photo/Pasadena Police Department)


A man who ran a Southern California "boot camp" for troubled youngsters has been sentenced to nearly 4 1/2 years in prison for child abuse and kidnapping, and for sexually assaulting two 14-year-old girls.

Forty-three-year-old Kelvin McFarland also was ordered last week to register as a sex offender. Los Angeles County prosecutors say he pleaded no contest in July to nine charges, including extortion and false imprisonment.

Authorities say McFarland, who called himself "1st Sgt. Mac," ran a camp in Pasadena and Altadena that supposedly used military-style discipline.

Videos made at the camp showed instructors shouting at a boy wearing a heavy auto tire and several kids vomiting after being repeatedly ordered to drink water. Prosecutors say McFarland also handcuffed a truant girl.

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