A former Santa Clara County probation counselor was arrested Thursday on suspicion of sexual misconduct involving two juveniles.
Tricia Caparra, 36, sexually abused a pair of teen boys who were previously incarcerated at the William F. James Boys Ranch in Morgan Hill, the sheriff's office said in a statement. At the time of the assaults, one victim was 17 years old and the other was 18 years old.
Caparra was placed on administrative leave immediately after one of the victims reported her alleged crimes on Sept. 3, 2016. The probation department launched an internal investigation and reported Caparra's misconduct to the sherrif's office. She resigned from her position on July 10, 2017, according to the statement.
“We were appalled to learn of this employee’s alleged abuse of a minor in our care,” said Chief Probation Officer Laura Garnette.
She continued: "This employee violated the trust placed in our Department. This will not be tolerated. Our probation staff have worked compassionately to support both of these youth throughout this ordeal, and we remain committed to providing exemplary care to our youth.”
The Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office is charging Caparra with 18counts of sexual assault — 15 felonies and three misdemeanors. An additional felony charge stems from Caparra illegally accessing confidential information about one of the victims, sheriff's officials said.
“The county has zero tolerance for these deplorable acts against clients in our care,” said County Executive Jeffrey Smith. “The Department took immediate action to report the employee, and implemented steps to prevent this from happening in the future. We trust that the District Attorney’s Office will pursue this case to hold this former employee accountable.”
The Santa Clara County Probation Department is cooperating with the district attorney and sheriff's office in an ongoing investigation.
People with information about the case are asked to call the Sheriff’s Office Investigative Services Division at 408-808-4500. Anonymous tips can be left at 408-808-4431.