NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) - A Northampton district court judge has ordered one of two suspects accused of trying to kill a 9-year-old girl held without bail.
Northampton Police say two homeless people kidnapped a 9-year-old girl who was left unattended outside the Cutchins Center and attempted to hang her from a tree with her own jump rope.
Lance Gouvan and Megan Bonny are accused of attempted murder, kidnapping, and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon; a rope.
The Center's executive director told the Daily Hampshire Gazette that the girl was left unsupervised for as long as 15 minutes. The incident resonated with C.A. Thomas, whose niece has been a resident at the program since January. She told 22News the children housed at the Pomeroy Terrace campus need more supervision.
Thomas' niece was recently assigned a work placement at a Hadley farm. Thomas told 22News her niece was sexually assaulted last month while working outside the agency.
"That one of the men where she worked in the chicken coop violated her. The Cutchins Program dropped her off at work and she's not supposed to be working anyway, she's 19 but she's mentally like a 10-year-old," said Thomas on Tuesday morning.
The center's director issued a statement to 22News saying they are aware of the allegations and are cooperating with a full investigation.
"We are aware of an allegation made by a young adult in our care regarding inappropriate contact at a work placement outside of the agency and are cooperating with a full investigation through appropriate channels. The Center became aware on Friday that the aunt and uncle of our client had concerns that their niece, when outside the program and off-grounds, may have come into contact with the individuals arrested last week. The agency cannot confirm or deny this. Our first and foremost concern is to work with our client and her aunt and uncle to provide the young adult in our care with the best treatment. The agency's current understanding is that the young woman and her family want the young woman to remain at Cutchins. Should another placement prove necessary, we will work with our client to facilitate the best care," said Jay Indik in a statement.
Thomas told 22News she has filed complaints with the Northwestern District Attorney's office.
Gouvan was ordered held without bail and Bonny was released on 2,500 cash bail on the condition she stay on house arrest with her parents.