HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – An employee of the Connecticut Department of Children and Families has been arrested for helping a child sex trafficker avoid police.
Hartford Police have charged Melisa Roberson, a social worker at DCF, with hindering prosecution and risk of injury to a minor.
According to police, on Friday they had notified a person wanted on child sex trafficking-related offenses was at DCF on Hamilton St. When officers arrived DCF staff refused to allow them into the building, and Roberson, the suspect’s social worker, snuck the woman and her 4-year old child out of the building through a rear exit and drove them to another location.
Police say the suspect was allowed only supervised visits at DCF and that Roberson was aware the suspect’s parental rights had been removed due to the investigation of suspected child sexual abuse and trafficking.
According to Police DCF Administration persuaded Roberson to return at which time she was arrested. Police say the suspect also returned and was taken into custody but are not releasing her name at this time to protect the child’s identity. The child has been returned safely to the foster parent.
The police investigation remains ongoing.
DCF has released the following statement upon our request:
“Immediately upon learning of the allegations leading to the arrest of a DCF Social Worker, senior Department leaders worked cooperatively with the Hartford Police to respond swiftly to this matter.
Our administration is built upon trust – with the children and families we serve, community partners, and members of the public – with whom we engage on a daily basis. We remain committed to holding ourselves accountable transparently and a Human Resources investigation has commenced.
Due to the pending criminal charges and internal investigation, we are unable to comment further at this time.”
– Commissioner Vannessa Dorantes