4 sexually abused Chino juvenile wards awarded $1M

CHINO — A San Bernardino County jury has awarded a total of $1 million to four juvenile inmates who were sexually abused at a Chino youth corrections facility.

A Rancho Cucamonga Superior Court jury returned the verdict on Wednesday. The panel earlier found that California Youth Authority director Jerry Harper and Superintendent Xavier Ruiz knew that youth correctional officer James Shelby was sexually abusing inmates at the Chino facility between 2002 and 2004.

The judgment included money for pain, suffering, medical costs and past and future loss. Guillermo Ruelas was awarded $655,896; Oscar Miranda was awarded $250,000; Martin Mendoza was awarded $160,000 and Alejandro Espinoza was awarded $12,000.

Spokespeople for the state corrections department and attorney general's office weren't immediately available for comment.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.