Temporary detention center
Female guards at a Bronx juvenile detention center allegedly sexually assaulted young male detainees. In this photo, refugees who crossed the Canada/U.S. border illegally wait in a temporary detention center in Blackpool, Quebec, Aug. 5, 2017. Getty Images

When sexually exploited at a tender age, it leaves lifelong scars on the mind and that's what happened with a boy, Franklin Maldonado, now 18. Maldonado filed a lawsuit, claiming that he was sexually exploited along with other young male detainees by female guards during his stay at the Horizon Juvenile Center in the Bronx in 2013 and 2014, reports said.

The lawsuit said a guard named Natalie Medford told Maldonado, who was just 15 at the time that if he "took care of her needs," he would enjoy benefits such as accessing her cellphone, watching "special" movies, getting extra food and would also face no punishment, New York Post reported.

Medford would occasionally take him to her office for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity. The lawsuit also said along with Maldonado, there was another inmate who was a minor being sexually exploited by another female guard.

However, an operator at the facility said he could not trace a worker named Medford. The city's Department of Investigation and the Bronx District Attorney's office have started their investigations into the matter, reports said.

But these kinds of allegations in a juvenile center are not new. According to Just Detention International, a U.S.organization dedicated to ending sexual abuse in detention, juvenile centers are "plagued" by sexual abuse. It cited a report released in 2013, where the Bureau of Justice Statistics found that around one in ten youth detainees were sexually exploited at their facilities in 2012. Roughly 81 percent were victims of exploitation by a member of staff and most of them were exploited a number of times.

In September 2014, 32 teens escaped from a juvenile detention center in Tennessee named Woodland Hills Youth Development Center, but by the next evening, some of them were either caught by police or had turned themselves in. In May that same year, half-dozen juveniles escaped their bedrooms and ran toward the facility's outdoor courtyard, but the staff caught them and convinced all to return. Many wondered what could have triggered them to flee.

A 2010 investigation by a daily publication, the Tennessean, discovered that the facility had female guards abusing the youth. These allegations had all gone uninvestigated and authorities did not even punish the concerned culprits, online magazine Slate reported.

A 2015 study “The Sexual Abuse to Prison Pipeline: The Girls’ Story,” found that around 80 percent of the girls in some states' juvenile justice systems have been sexually or physically abused.

"Indeed, sexual abuse is one of the primary predictors of girls’ entry into the juvenile justice system. A particularly glaring example is when girls who are victims of sex trafficking are arrested on prostitution charges — punished as perpetrators rather than served and supported as victims and survivors.

The report also said girls involved in criminal behavior get lesser public attention than boys because there are a lesser number of girls in juvenile detention centers and crimes committed by girls are comparatively not that violent.